Giants find safety gem in lost season

nfl: new england patriots at new york giants, jason pinnock
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Many were concerned that the New York Giants didn’t fully replace the strong safety position with an adequate starter after they let Julian Love leave in free agency. However, as training camp developed this past off-season, reports that defensive back Jason Pinnock was quickly becoming a favorite within the organization.

Pinnock was picked up after the Jets waived him in 2021, but to the surprise of many, he has evolved into a quality starter for the Giants at just 24 years old. The former fifth-round pick in 2021 played just 473 snaps last season for a Big Blue, putting together some solid games, earning 36 tackles, and allowing 161 yards in coverage with two pass breakups.

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The Giants Found a Gem in Jason Pinnock

This season, Pinnock has taken his game to another level, playing 792 snaps, recording 46 tackles, and 225 yards allowed in coverage with a 60.7% reception rate, including an interception and three pass breakups. He’s also forced a fumble and made several big plays to boost a surprisingly solid Giants defense.

Pinnock has the length and athleticism to fly around the football field and make a positive impact. Love has had an inconsistent season with the Seattle Seahawks at a much higher price point compared to Pinnock, who is earning just $940K this year. In fact, the Giants have him under contract at just $1 million for the 2024 season before he becomes a free agent.

The Giants are still unsure if they will extend homegrown talent Xavier McKinney, but keeping that duo in place could be beneficial for the long term. If general manager Joe Schoen does decide to draft a quarterback in the first round and take the out in Daniel Jones’s contract after 2024, he will have plenty of financial flexibility to work with, especially if he decides to spread the remaining dead money from the deal over the 2025-26 seasons.

Schoen will have flexibility in a number of areas, and while spending big at the safety position usually isn’t a beneficial strategy, McKinney has been fantastic lately, and Pinnock continues to showcase value. Ironically, the Jets have significant concerns at the safety position, and they let a quality starter slip right through their fingers.