Giants could save $2.7 million by cutting cornerback

new york giants, darnay holmes
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) gets a high five from fans after winning a wild card game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Giants gear up for their forthcoming training camp, several key decisions loom on the horizon.

Significant among them are the position battles that are likely to shape the team’s season, particularly the intense competition for the coveted slot cornerback position. Multiple players, including Aaron Robinson, Cor’Dale Flott, and Darnay Holmes, are vying for this important starting role.

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Potential Cuts: Darnay Holmes in the Crosshairs

The financial implications of player contracts also factor into the Giants’ decision-making. With one of the three competitors facing a sizeable salary hit for the upcoming season, he emerges as a potential cut candidate.

Over the Cap reports that Darnay Holmes’ 2023 salary is projected at $2.94 million. However, by releasing him, the Giants stand to save a significant $2.74 million.

This situation echoes the dilemma faced with Darius Slayton the previous year, where he agreed to a pay cut to secure his position. His bet on himself paid off with a strong 2022 season, earning him a new two-year, $12 million contract, inclusive of $4.9 million guaranteed.

Weighing Performance: Holmes’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Holmes, who has the potential to solidify his place as a reliable starter, has shown inconsistencies in coverage but has provided value as a robust tackler and a dependable run defender. His last season saw him surrender 527 total yards and a touchdown, along with breaking up six passes. However, he was penalized nine times.

Despite these drawbacks, Holmes’ skill for disrupting plays behind the line of scrimmage and his active role in the run game makes him a valuable player. Yet, his track record of giving up 45 or more yards in nine games last year does raise questions given the Giants’ heavy reliance on man coverage.

Upcoming Talent: Aaron Robinson and Cor’Dale Flott

Robinson, despite returning from an injury, has displayed flashes of quality in coverage over the past two years, making him a potential dark horse in the race for the starting role.

Furthermore, the Giants’ recent draft of LSU cornerback Cor’Dale Flott is noteworthy. Flott’s natural cover corner abilities, complemented by his lanky, long frame, adds to the competition, especially if he can add some muscle mass to enhance his support in run defense.

Financial Considerations and Next Steps

With a modest $3.8 million in available salary space, the Giants will need to make some tough financial decisions. If they encounter pressing needs that require significant financial investment, Holmes’ position may be at risk. As the team navigates these crucial choices, the upcoming training camp will offer key insights into the 2023 season’s lineup.