Giants re-sign returners Hixon, Reynaud, tender nine

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Return specialists Domenik Hixon and Darius Reynaud have signed contract extensions with the New York Giants.

With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire at the end of the day, the Giants also announced Thursday that nine other players were tendered contract offers.

Defensive linemen Mathias Kiwanuka, Barry Cofield and Dave Tollefson, wide receiver Steve Smith, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, tight end Kevin Boss and offensive lineman Kevin Boothe were tendered one-year contracts as restricted free agents.

Boss, Bradshaw, Cofield, and Tollefson received second-round tenders. Boothe, Kiwanuka and Smith each received an original round tender.

The Giants also have tendered one-year contracts to tight end-fullback Bear Pascoe and offensive lineman Jamon Meredith as exclusive-rights players.

Hixon, who also plays wide receiver, missed all of last season after tearing a knee ligament during a June 15 practice at New Meadowlands Stadium.

"I thank God and I feel very blessed that I have an opportunity to come back to the New York Giants," Hixon said Thursday from his home near Columbus, Ohio. "That's what I wanted. I love the New York Giants and being in New Jersey. It's been a blast. They have a great coaching staff and ownership and a team that I like. I really wanted to come back, and I'm glad we were able to work something out."

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Hixon set Giants season records in 2009 with 57 kickoff returns for 1,291 yards, a 22.6-yard average. He also led the team with a 15.1-yard average on 17 punt returns, including a 79-yard touchdown. Hixon ranks seventh in Giants history with 1,692 kickoff-return yards and ninth with 498 punt-return yards.

Without Hixon last season, the Giants finished 31st in the NFL in both punt returns (a 6.1-yard average) and kickoff returns (19.0).

"That was one of the most devastating things about the injury," Hixon said. "The guys on the special-teams units were just getting used to each other, and we ended on a real good note the year before. We thought we'd continue to build up. I feel we'll keep on doing that and pick up where we left off a couple of years ago."

Hixon has started 10 of his 42 games with the Giants. He has 59 career catches for 788 yards and three touchdowns.

Acquired with backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels in a Sept. 3 trade with the Minnesota Vikings, Reynaud played in nine games, averaging 5.7 yards on punt returns and 18.4 yards on 21 kickoff returns.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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