The New York Giants have a tumultuous situation on their hands at cornerback. With DeAndre Baker being placed on the Commissioners Exempt List and Sam Beal opting out of the 2020 season, the defense lacks a true CB2. While Beal has been injured the past two seasons predominantly and has failed to produce a sample size worthy of starting reps, the Giants are down one option.
This leaves a bevy of inexperienced players to compete for a high profile position, which the Giants spent a first-round pick on last season.
Baker’s legal troubles have created plenty of issues for the team already, from creating a void on defense and a distraction for other players. I’m surprised the Giants haven’t cut ties with him already, but it seems they’re waiting for the league to figure out the results of his legal proceedings.
If Baker is, in fact, exonerated from the charges pressed against him, the Giants could gain back there troubled corner for the future. However, new head coach Joe Judge is running a tight ship, and he would have to be absolutely perfect to continue playing under the new regimen.
However, the defense is left with Julian Love, rookies Darnay Holmes and Chris Williamson, and second-year player Corey Ballantine to compete for the second starting corner slot. Many have brought up the idea of signing veteran corner Logan Ryan as a free agent, but there are a few reasons this would be a bad idea.
1.) Too expensive
Ryan is reportedly seeking $10 million per season as a free agent, and with the Giants sitting at $21 million in camp space after Nate Solder opened up $9.9 million in available salary, they could theoretically afford him. However, allowing that money to roll over into the 2021 season is more beneficial.
2.) Rebuilding is about growth
The Giants were never in a prime position to make a playoff run in 2020, and being that their rebuild is still underway, they should be giving as many reps as possible to their youth players. Holmes, Love, Ballentine, and even Williams and should be in the mix for starting reps, and allowing them to compete amongst each other will only bring out the best of the bunch. Bringing in a one-year fill-in at corner only hurts the defense’s progression and the players’ adaptation to the NFL.
3.) Logan Ryan isn’t THAT good
Many have salivated over Logan Ryan’s statistics, but the reality is, he’s not that great of a cornerback. Ryan, at 29 years old, will primarily slide into a slot position. If the Giants want to utilize him there and maneuver homes to CB2, that’s a different story.
However, over 16 games in 2019, Logan allowed a 66% completion rate against and five total touchdowns. Allowing that many touchdowns is a red flag, which the Giants should be looking at seriously if Ryan actually ends up being a consideration.
However, he did rack up 113 combined tackles, eight quarterback hits, 18 passes defended, and four interceptions. He also had a curious 4.5 total sacks. His production across the board came primarily from the slot, where he was able to rush the passer more efficiently from a corner position. In addition, it also attests to the number of shots opposing offenses took at him.
While he would be a decent fill-in, for the most part, I am not willing to sacrifice the development of our younger players for a one year supplement.