The New York Giants are faced with a potential competition for the slot cornerback position. After drafting Deonte Banks with their 24th overall pick from Maryland, former third-round pick Aaron Robinson is likely to revert to a slot role, and Cor’Dale Flott, a third-round pick from 2022, is also poised to vie for the starting position.
The ideal scenario would have Darnay Holmes, Robinson, and Flott duking it out in the slot. However, the Giants might opt to part ways with Holmes, a former fourth-round pick from UCLA in 2020.
The Giants can save substantial capital by cutting Darnay Holmes:
Approaching the age of 25, Holmes boasts three years of NFL experience, having played a career-high 637 total snaps last season. He allowed 527 yards in coverage and a touchdown, secured six pass breakups, and amassed nine penalties, almost double his total from his rookie season.
In terms of coverage, Holmes has struggled significantly, though he has rated well as a tackler, proving his mettle in the running game and showcasing his physicality.
At the very least, the Giants know they can rely on Darnay to bolster their run defense and detect screens in the offensive backfield. However, when it comes to man coverage, he has experienced considerable difficulties.
After playing 519 snaps in the slot last season, it’s clear that he has fully transitioned to this position. However, if Big Blue decides to explore a new direction, they would save $2.7 million by releasing him.
They might follow a similar course of action with Holmes as they did with Darius Slayton—persuading him to accept a pay cut and bet on his ability to improve. Slayton reaped the benefits after a strong 2022 season, and given the terms of Holmes’s contract, he’s undoubtedly an enticing candidate for release.
With Robinson earning a modest $1.4 million for the 2023 season and Flott earning just $1.2 million, Big Blue can easily manage their expenses and free up a substantial amount of salary space.
Despite his hefty price tag, Holmes brings positive energy to the locker room and was a team leader during his time at UCLA.
Making significant progress in the upcoming season would position him well for an extension. However, the Giants have high expectations for Flott and his abilities from LSU. He spent his rookie season gaining experience and building up his physique, but he might end up being a reserve on the outside.
Given his slender build and lack of physicality in the run game, the Giants may prefer to keep him out of the slot position and position him as the primary reserve on the boundary.
In fact, with Adoree Jackson’s contract expiring in 2024, who’s to say Flott won’t eventually ascend to the CB2 role with Banks assuming the top spot?
The cornerback position is unsettled for the Giants, but they have a wealth of young talent to utilize. However, Holmes’s place on the roster is undoubtedly in jeopardy following a challenging 2022 season.