AP - Mar 27, 1:29 pm EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants signed free agent linebacker Kawika Mitchell to a one-year, $1 million contract on Tuesday.
The signing was the first free agent move for new general manager Jerry Reese, and it fills a linebacker need with the recent decisions to release LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons.
Hours after Mitchell signed, the Giants also re-signed veteran offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer, who played in all 17 games last season, starting in the regular season finale against Washington.
Mitchell spent the last four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, recording 118 tackles in 2006 at middle linebacker. With the Giants, he will move to outside linebacker since current middle linebacker Antonio Pierce made the Pro Bowl in 2006.
"Over the past two years I haven't come off the field, I have played 100 percent of all the plays at Kansas City," Mitchell said. "I feel like I can do whatever is asked of me, and then some. I plan on making an impact and trying to make a lot of big plays and the plays that should be made."
Despite having 100-plus tackles in each of the last two seasons, Mitchell said there really wasn't a lot of interest in him as a free agent.
"At this point I am not opposed to a one year deal, hopefully we can build on that and make it a long term deal," said Mitchell, adding his contract does not contain an option year.
The Giants had talks with Denver last week about acquiring linebacker Al Wilson, but the deal didn't pan out after the player failed his physical.
Mitchell said he had been talking with the Giants for a couple of weeks.
Ironically, the Giants didn't roll out the red carpet to greet him on Tuesday. Reese and coach Tom Coughlin were at the league meetings and Mitchell was greeted by assistant coach Peter Giunta, who had coached him with the Chiefs a few years ago.
Mitchell had 1.5 sacks, one interception and three passes defended last season playing on a shaky defense that was overshadowed by the Chiefs' offense.
"Sometimes you need to move on and see what else is out there and experience a different defense, a different vibe," Mitchell said. "You try to build yourself up and let people see who you are."
Ruegamer has played in 105 regular season games with 19 starts with the Giants, Miami, New England and Green Bay.