Giants can save $2.7 million by cutting cornerback

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Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

With less than a week to go until the New York Giants finalize their roster cuts, several positional battles are still underway. The team’s final preseason clash against the New York Jets this Saturday will offer more clarity regarding the future of multiple players. However, the Giants still face uncertainty in figuring out their slot cornerback position.

Slot Cornerback: A Fluid Situation

As it stands, rookies Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins are currently getting first-team reps, leaving top corner Adoree Jackson as a possible option for the slot. If Jackson shifts to this role and last year’s third-round pick Cor’Dale Flott continues his development, the Giants could strategically reallocate funds to bolster other areas on the team.

The Financials: Darnay Holmes’ Uncertain Future With the Giants

Retaining fourth-year cornerback Darnay Holmes would cost the Giants $2.9 million against the salary cap, with a base salary of $2.7 million. Releasing Holmes before the season would free up $2.7 million, which could then be used to sign a free agent to strengthen areas like the offensive line or other weaker positions.

Performance Metrics: Holmes’ Shaky NFL Career

Holmes has had a turbulent three years in the NFL. Last season, he surrendered 527 yards, along with one touchdown and six pass breakups. He was flagged nine times and had a 13.2% missed tackle rate and a 69.7% reception rate. Though Holmes has shown a knack for making plays in the offensive backfield, his attributes haven’t translated well in heavy man-coverage schemes.

Defensive Schemes: Compatibility Issues with Martindale’s Plan

Holmes’ skill set in zone coverage hasn’t gelled with defensive coordinator Martindale’s approach, which predominantly focuses on cornerbacks sticking closely to receivers. This enables the defense to blitz efficiently and pressure opposing quarterbacks. Given Holmes’ liability in man coverage throughout his career, the Giants may consider parting ways with him or requesting a significant pay cut.

Possible Outcomes: The Darius Slayton Blueprint

The Giants have precedent for dealing with this kind of situation, as demonstrated with wide receiver Darius Slayton last season. Instead of cutting Slayton, the team asked him to take a pay cut, which he leveraged into a two-year, $12 million contract this offseason. The Giants could employ a similar tactic with Holmes, asking him to accept reduced compensation with the opportunity to secure a long-term deal later.

Contract Renegotiation: A Fork in the Road for Holmes

Darnay Holmes’ current contract is one that’s likely to undergo changes soon. Whether the Giants decide to release him or ask him to take a pay cut, Holmes faces a pivotal moment in his career, where he could either seize the opportunity for a strong season or seek a fresh start elsewhere.

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