The New York Giants have agreed to terms with linebacker Mark Herzlich, the team announced.
The deal is for two years, a source said.
The Giants also agreed to terms Wednesday with fullback Henry Hynoski.
One of the most feared defensive players in college football in 2008 as a junior at Boston College, Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma (a form of bone cancer) and missed the entire 2009 season. He returned to play for the Eagles in 2010, but he went undrafted in 2011 and signed with the Giants as a free agent after the draft.
Herzlich, 27, played in the first 12 games of that 2011 season as a special-teamer and started two of them at linebacker before injuries ended his season early. He has played in all but one game since, and while his greatest value has been on special teams, he played surprisingly well as a starting linebacker in eight of the Giants' 16 games in 2014, collecting a career-high 52 tackles and his first career sack.
The Giants agreed to terms with linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas on Tuesday, and with Jon Beason, Jameel McClain and Devon Kennard still on the roster, there will be a lot of competition for playing time at that position in training camp and during the season.
Herzlich and Casillas are likely to make their greatest contributions on special teams, but Herzlich impressed the Giants' coaching staff with the way he played as a fill-in starter at weakside linebacker late in the 2014 season. They believe him to be very strong against the run, and it's possible he could see some time at that weakside spot against run-heavy teams in 2015.
Thomas is a better coverage linebacker, Kennard is better rushing the passer and Beason and McClain are veteran leaders for the middle. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have a variety of linebacker options.
Known for his blocking, Hynoski played 16 games last season for the Giants, including four starts.
Mark Herzlich back with Giants