The Washington Redskins and New York Giants have both had exploratory talks regarding the services of free agent running back Tim Hightower, who last played for the Redskins during the 2012 preseason, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how serious the Redskins’ interest is, but the Giants held talks with Hightower earlier this month and were expected to meet with him again “in a couple weeks,” one person said. The second person said they weren’t sure how close either team was to signing Hightower, however.

The Redskins acquired Hightower via trade from the Arizona Cardinals in the summer of 2011, and he opened the season as their starting running back. But he tore his ACL in the fifth game of the season. In five games, Hightower had 84 carries for 321 yards and a touchdown. He also had 10 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.

Hightower had surgery to repair the ligament and he attempted a comeback last preseason. He declined the option of opening training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and, in the Redskins’ third preseason game, rushed for 28 yards on five carries — including an 18-yard run.

But Hightower’s knee swelled up after the game, and with his knee slow to recover at the time Washington had to make final roster cuts, he was released. Hightower said in an interview in January that he regretted the decision not to open the season on the PUP list.

At the time of his release, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said the team would be open to bringing back Hightower once his knee had recovered.

The 26-year-old Hightower’s knee now is said to be “feeling great.”