The New York Giants possess one of the worst defenses in the NFL. In 2019, the Giants’ secondary was especially bad. New York’s pass defense ranked fifth-worst in the NFL this season, allowing 264.1 passing yards per game (ESPN). Granted, the team had multiple rookie defensive backs starting for them. But this league-ranking is unacceptable regardless and needs to improve in 2020.
Luckily for the Giants, there are plenty of options to improve their secondary this offseason. Whether it be drafting a young stud defensive back in the first round or spending big in free agency- the possibilities are limitless. In free agency, there are plenty of big-name offensive tackles and edge rushers that Giants fans will drool over. But the player they should be drooling over is in the secondary. Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys defensive back, should be the Giants’ top free-agent target in 2020.
Free Agent Cornerbacks Pay Off
The Giants have spent big in the secondary before. Over the past five years, the Giants have signed a couple of big-name cornerbacks. Fist, New York secured Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the 2014 NFL offseason. The Giants signed DRC to a five-year deal that saw him total 11 interceptions and 46 passes defended in three seasons. Rodgers-Cromartie was also selected as a second-team All-Pro in 2016.
DRC was not the only free agent cornerback from which the Giants got high returns. More recently, the Giants parted ways with cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins was a big signing for the Giants in the 2016 offseason when the team spent heavily on impact players in free agency, such as Jenkins, Olivier Vernon, and Damon Harrison.
In that 2016 offseason, the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins to a five-year deal. The Giants got three and a half years out of Janoris. In those three and a half seasons, Janoris Jenkins racked up 12 interceptions, and 56 passes defended. Janoris Jenkins was also selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2016. The Giants’ past two cornerback free agent signings have paid off big-time with elite play and reliability in their secondary.
Why The Giants Should Sign Byron Jones
If the Giants make a third big purchase in the secondary, signing Byron Jones in the 2020 offseason would be a home run. Undoubtedly, Byron Jones is the best cornerback set to be available in free agency in 2020.
The Giants’ secondary is filled with youthful talent. DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Grant Haley are all second and third-year players. Having a talented veteran presence in the secondary should be a top priority for the Gmen. Byron Jones fits the bill at 27-years-old with 5 years of experience.
The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.
Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback at the professional level and has done both exceptionally well. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He’s a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends. Finally, the Giants could get a coverage-man to shut down opposing tight ends.
Beautiful Back-Shoulder Fade Defense from Cowboys CB Byron Jones
⬆️ In-Phase = Hips Even with the WR
🔒 Get “Chest to Chest” when the WR Opens to the Back Shoulder
🔙 Snap Head to Find the Ball
🙌🏽 Play Through the Hands pic.twitter.com/VpgeKTKuhS
— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) July 24, 2019