With the New York Giants waiving veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Friday morning after sending a profound Tweet to a fan and refusing to apologize for his use of “slang,” a gaping hole in the secondary has formed.
Jenkins was the No. 1 corner for the Giants and has been relatively consistent since his addition in 2016. Several problematical actions this season and during a tumultuous 2017 campaign (Ben McAdoo era) have finally led to his exclusion from a rebuild that’s bleeding at the seams.
General manager Dave Gettleman has made focusing on their youth a priority, considering the lack of success the team has had over the past two seasons. Now, heading into 2020, Gettleman must find a way to supplement the loss of Jenkins, as throwing DeAndre Baker into the fire is not a preferred scenario.
Here are three cornerbacks the New York Giants can invest in:
1.) Chris Harris (31)
Harris is one of the better corners in the NFL, racking up 46 tackles and one interception over 13 games this season. This year, however, has been downward trending, as he currently has a 70.2 overall grade, per PFF. In 2018, he racked up three interceptions, and 10 passes defended, far surpassing his numbers from the current campaign.
Considering his unproductive 2019 season, the Giants might be able to secure him on a salary-cap friendly deal. As friendly as a quality cornerback can be.
2.) Logan Ryan (29)
At just 29-years-old, Logan Ryan is a stellar option for the Giants in free agency. His 94 tackles, four sacks, and seven QB hits make him a multi-faceted corner than can be a threat at corner. Factor in his four interceptions and two forced fumbles and the Giants are looking at one of the best all-around corners in football, but it will take a lot of money to lure him to a defense littered with youth and inexperience.
I estimate a player of Ryan’s abilities will earn upwards of $15 million per season, but the Giants have the cap-space to spare.
3.) Jimmy Smith (32)
The oldest of the trio, Smith, is another quality player on a great defense led by Ravens’ Don Martindale. Smith has missed six games this year and is graded a smidge below Chris Harris at 70.1.
However, he has been a force in the secondary for quite some time and might be a great value pickup for the Giants, considering his experience and leadership. He’s the type of player that elevates his teammates, something Janoris Jenkins was void of during his tenure with the Giants.
The days of Smith being a lockdown corner might be over, but he’s a capable player that can supplement Jenkins’ departure.