Giants’ slot cornerback may be pigeonholed into taking a pay cut

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Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants are preparing for a fierce competition at the slot cornerback position. As the battle unfolds, let’s delve into the details of the contenders and the potential outcomes for the upcoming season.

Cor’Dale Flott: The Leading Candidate

Cor’Dale Flott firmly holds the lead in this position battle, displaying promising potential as a second-year player and former third-round pick from LSU. Flott has added several pounds of muscle mass to his frame, enhancing his physicality. This is a crucial attribute for slot corners who need proficiency in stopping the run.

Darnay Holmes: Struggling to Keep Up

Despite having some solid games in the past and being known as a great teammate, Holmes is facing difficulties. The 25-year-old is struggling during training camp, especially in keeping up with coverage. He allowed 527 yards and a touchdown last year, breaking up six passes in 637 total snaps. Furthermore, he posted disappointing coverage grades, struggling against the run at times with a 13.2% missed tackle rate, and collected 40 tackles.

Holmes had a tough 2022 season, and his future with the Giants is uncertain.

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Salary Cap Implications: A Tricky Situation For the Giants

Holmes may find himself in a position to take a pay cut this year, similar to what the Giants previously did with Darius Slayton. Slayton was faced with the choice of taking a pay cut or being released. He leveraged that into a two-year, $12 million deal with $4.9 million guaranteed.

Holmes is set to earn $2.7 million in base salary and will count $2.94 million against the salary cap this year. If released, he would save the Giants $2.7 million, a sum they could allocate to another player at the same position.

Looking for Alternatives: Other Prospects

The Giants’ acquisition strategy led them to Jason Pinnock last season from the Jets. Pinnock is now in line to start at strong safety after showing good potential in 2022. The team could explore similar avenues if Holmes doesn’t prove to be the right fit.

A Decision Looms

Though Holmes knows the system and has shown potential, the Giants may have no choice but to ask him to take a pay cut or find a more economical option with better coverage abilities. At $2.9 million, his spot on the roster seems unsustainable.

This slot cornerback position battle illustrates the complexities of team dynamics, player performance, and financial considerations in professional football. As the Giants prepare for the new season, this decision will likely have significant ramifications for the team’s defensive strategies and overall success.