Ramses Barden sure sounded as if he was making sense when he declared in late February leaving the Giants was a smart move. After all, in four years, he never produced much and never convinced the coaching staff that, despite his towering size at receiver, he could be a vital part of the offense.

“It’s probably best for me to start looking other places for a new system,’’ Barden said. “I think everyone can benefit from newness in their lives. This is going to be one of those for me.’’

A new system never materialized in free agency and yesterday Barden, surprisingly, returned on a one-year, minimum-salary contract that presents no risk to the Giants as he attempts to stick on the roster as a reserve receiver.

Singing a different tune, Barden said, “I’m happy to be back” after signing and then headed out to the field to watch his new-old team work during the second organized team activity practice. “This is where I wanted to be and now I’m here. I was out there listening to the calls, getting back into the rhythm of the cadence, enjoying the camaraderie and absorbing everything. I remember everything; I’ve had four years to soak it all up. I’m happy to be back on the field. I feel great. I expect the best.”

A third-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Cal Poly, Barden, 27, looks the part at a statuesque 6-foot-6 and 224 pounds, but his production has not matched his physique. In 29 games, he caught only 29 passes for 394 yards and no touchdowns. He had one truly eye-opening performance, hauling in nine passes for 138 yards in a victory last September over the Panthers in Carolina, making his first and only NFL start when he filled in when Hakeem Nicks was out with a sore foot.

Injuries were a big part of Barden’s problem with the Giants. A fractured ankle in 2010 curtailed a large part of the 2011 season.

The Giants at the moment are depleted at receiver, with Victor Cruz staying away from the team as his contract negotiations drag on and Nicks still slowed by an offseason knee procedure. The Giants signed veteran Louis Murphy and still have Rueben Randle entering his second year and Jerrel Jernigan entering his third season. They lost Domenik Hixon in free agency to the Panthers.

Nicks yesterday was a no-show for a second OTA workout, but the absence is considered to be for personal reasons, rather than dissatisfaction with his contract.