The top corner in free agency is none other than Dallas Cowboys’ Byron Jones. Anytime the New York Giants can steal one of Dallas’ top defensive playmakers away, it’s considered a massive success.
Jones is the top cornerback available on the market, and the Giants will have to drop a pretty penny on him if they wish to land him (likely north of $16 million per season). His statistical output doesn’t raise any eyebrows, but that’s mostly due to opposing quarterbacks staying away from his side of the field.
Considering Jones is just 27-years-old, investing big-money in him is justifiable, especially with the Giants lacking a shutdown corner on defense.
What if the New York Giants miss out on Byron Jones:
Two options intrigue me if the Giants are forced to inquire about alternative cornerbacks in free agency. Former Carolina Panther, James Bradberry, and Broncos’ Chris Harris.
Bradberry is a talented cover corner who’s versed in shadowing No. 1 receivers, but his biggest downfall is his tackling efficiency. Boasting an inflated 12.1% missed tackle rate compared to Byron Jones’ 2.1%, he’s a liability after the catch at times, but his numbers in coverage are impressive.
The 27-years-old only allowed a 59.8% completion percentage in 2019, recording three interceptions and 12 passes defended. He’s a cheaper option than Jones in free agency by a large margin, but a reliable backup plan if the Giants have no other choice.
Alternatively, they can seek assistance through Chris Harris, who’s entering the latter portion of his career at 31-years-old. Signing Harris to a two-year deal would maximize his value until he ultimately succumbs to age degradation. I like this move more-so than Bradberry given his experience and veteran mentality – he might cost the Giants around $13-14 million per season. Still, a two-year deal isn’t detrimental to their future cap holdings.
Other options include Logan Ryan, Bradley Roby, and Jimmy Smith as boundary-corners. The Giants need to pursue Jones aggressively, but the two names listed above represent decent alternatives.