New York Giants: One ideal cornerback to target in free agency

marcus peters, new york giants
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) punches the ball out of the hands of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (82) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal] Browns 20

The New York Giants have plenty of positions that require upgrades this off-season, aside from extending quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. Prioritizing those contracts is essential for maintaining the progress and success of the offense, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore other spots in free agency.

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The New York Giants are committed to building through the draft:

General manager Joe Schoen isn’t looking to plug major holes with free agents, a strategy that Dave Gettleman utilized during his tenure with Big Blue. That plan has significant liabilities, for example, overpaying players that don’t live up to the contract’s potential. Kenny Golladay is a prime example of that.

Nonetheless, the Giants can’t solve every spot through the draft, so they will have to spend some money upgrading specific positions. That brings us to the cornerback spot, one that could use an additional piece opposite Adoree Jackson, who’s heading into the final year of a three-year, $39-million contract. He has a void year built into the 2024 season that will pay $3 million; he’s scheduled to account for $19M in cap space and $10.5 million in dead money. If the Giants cut Jackson this off-season, which seems unlikely, they would save about $8.6 million as a pre-June 1 departure.

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Rolling with Nick McCloud, Fabian Moreau, and even former third-round pick Cor’Dale Flott doesn’t seem to be in the cards for the Giants moving forward. Flott is a nice developmental piece but isn’t close to being prepared to feature as a starter.

The Giants will get Aaron Robinson back, but injuries have held him down. Sliding back into the slot may be the preferred destination, given Darnay Holmes’s struggles in coverage this past season.

If Schoen is looking to spend money, targeting Baltimore Ravens corner, Marcus Peters, could fit the bill. Given he has years of experience with Wink Martindale, the known ball hawk could be a nice addition opposite Adoree.

Per PFF, Peters is one of the best CB options on the free agent market, and he’s a perfect fit in Wink Martindale’s defense.

One of the league’s premier interception hawks at cornerback, Peters failed to record multiple picks for the first time in his career. The soon-to-be 30-year-old suffered a calf strain in December that sidelined him for the final three weeks of the regular season, but this was just his first season outside of 2021 where he didn’t log at least 900 snaps.

What would Marcus Peters bring to the Giants?

In 2022, Peters logged 791 total snaps, giving up 559 yards, five touchdowns, and recorded one interception. Considering he’s never recorded less than three interceptions in his career, his most recent season is an anomaly.

With that being said, at 30 years old, Peters is certainly heading toward the back end of his prime but still has plenty of value as a CB2. Given his experience in a heavy man coverage scheme, Wink may love to have one of his former players that has helped lock down receivers for a long time.

Good man coverage corners and a quality free safety in Xavier McKinney would allow Wink to open up his blitz packages and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Spotrac has Peters at a $9.8 million market value in terms of average annual salary. They have him signing a two-year, $19.8 million deal, and for $10 million, it might be worthwhile to spend a bit and lock down a key position on the defensive side. Alternatively, going after a quality linebacker could be in the cards, which we turn our direction toward Tremaine Edmunds of the Bills or even David Long from the Tennessee Titans.

As aforementioned, the Giants have plenty of needs and, unfortunately, don’t have unlimited capital. They will solve a few spots through the draft, but they have no choice but to spend some money on key positions via free agency.