Waived New York Giants corner Ballentine picked up by Jets

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants couldn’t find space for Corey Ballentine with Will Hernandez making his return from the COVID-19 list, but it didn’t take long for another team to make a spot for the cornerback. That team happens to be the crosstown neighbor of the Giants, the New York Jets.

The Jets have picked Ballentine up from waivers after the Giants moved on from him to make space for the comeback of Hernandez. This is Ballentine’s second season in the league, and the cornerback has had more playing time this year after only getting a couple of starts last season. However, he hasn’t been a consistent main player for the Giants as he’s only played in roughly 62% of the snaps during his appearances this season.

James Bradberry has locked down the number one cornerback spot as an elite player and the remaining spots have largely been taken up by other players. Isaac Yiadom and Darnay Holmes and others are ahead of Ballentine in the rotation, contributing to his exit from the team.

He also served as a special teams player but didn’t have exceptional numbers as a return man and has fallen out of favor in that role too.

Ballentine came into the league with some fame, as despite being a sixth round draft pick, he was injured in a shooting that also killed college teammate Dwane Simmons. He made it past the adversity to play for the Giants in the NFL, and after departing the franchise, will have another chance to make it while playing for the other occupant of MetLife Stadium.

New York Giants: Can sophomore Corey Ballentine secure the CB2 job?

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

When the New York Giants drafted Corey Ballentine in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft, nobody actually expected him to earn starting reps. With his solid physical traits, Ballentine has the upside to develop into a quality corner, but sticking him into the fire during his rookie season backfired.

Of course, earning live game experience in the NFL will help him moving forward, but the thrashing he took was indicative of his late-round drafting. In 2019, he racked up 26 combined tackles, and two passes defended over 13 appearances. He logged a 64.3 completion percentage against and allowed four touchdowns, but showed he can tackle efficiently, missing just one tackle on 27 attempts.

With the 2020 regular season under a month away, Ballentine will have to expedite his development process. Former first-round corner DeAndre Baker was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, and Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 season. This left a bevy of young players to compete for the CB2 spot. Aside from Ballentine, Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson, and undrafted free agent Prince Smith will all be seeking starting reps.

The New York Giants are starting a problem right in the face:

The issue here is quite obvious, a lack of experience and proven talent could be hurtful at a starting corner position. Love has the most reps at corner coming from Notre Dame, but holmes represent the option with the most athletic upside.

Then there is Ballantine, who has stood out in recent days during practice. Of course, what we see on the practice field frequently doesn’t reflect during a live regular-season game. On Friday, he broke up several passes, including a potential touchdown in the red zone.

The young Washburn corner is seeking growth from his coaches, which is a positive step forward:

“The thing that I appreciate about Corey is that he wants to be coached,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said. “He has come to me and said, ‘I want to be coached. I want to know, and I want feel like I can go out there and play confident.’ I’m making sure that he feels confident when he goes out, giving him instruction, and making sure that he can give it back to me. He’s a guy who has some ability. He’s in the mix, just like everybody else is, to play a big role for us. I’m excited to work with him.”

Without a preseason to utilize, the Giants will have to stick with players that look good in training camp. Ultimately, that is not the recipe for success, but it is something they must do.

New York Giants: Corey Ballentine Among Practice Standouts

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants really need someone to step up at the second cornerback spot. While a lot of fans were already unsure about that spot thanks to DeAndre Baker being the returning option from last year, his legal trouble only puts the Giants in a worse spot than they were at the start of the year.

You might not like DeAndre Baker and his play. But the Giants aren’t deep at his position. If Baker stepping up is an uncertainty, the Giants getting good play at CB2 without him is an even bigger one.

However, training camp is underway and one player at cornerback is standing out right now.

Corey Ballentine earns praise from Jerome Henderson

It’s worth paying attention to the CB2 position battle because the Giants probably aren’t going to have Baker available this season. It’s also a bit late to get a good replacement from free agency, leaving the Giants with what they have now. One of those players is Corey Ballentine, who seems to have pretty good results so far during training camp.

He earned some praise from defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, which is encouraging for anyone wondering if the Giants have the talent to compete at Ballentine’s position this year.

“The thing that I appreciate about Corey is that he wants to be coached,” Henderson said on Ballentine.

“He has come to me and said, ‘I want to be coached. I want to know, and I want feel like I can go out there and play confident.’ I’m making sure that he feels confident when he goes out, giving him instruction, and making sure that he can give it back to me. He’s a guy who has some ability. He’s in the mix, just like everybody else is, to play a big role for us. I’m excited to work with him,” Henderson continued.

From Eli Apple to Janoris Jenkins, the Giants have a minor trend of defensive backs who don’t have great attitudes. Someone like Ballentine is a nice change from that.

Ballentine doesn’t have as much experience from 2019 to build off of as Baker, but he does have some. He made it into 13 games, playing as a defensive back and kick returner. He had 26 tackles and 2 passes defended, a number that will likely increase over time as the absence of Baker gives a shot for more young defensive backs to find playing time on the field in 2020.

New York Giants: Top Players/Positions To Monitor In Training Camp 2020

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Football is back! The New York Giants officially reported to training camp on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Veterans reported to training camp today as the team does its first wave of COVID-19 testing. This will be a crucial season for the Giants as they enter the year with a brand new coaching staff and a revamped roster.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no preseason this year, making training camp that much more important. Many of those players who standout in the preseason to earn their roster spots will not be afforded such an opportunity this year. Instead, the Giants’ new coaching staff will have to gauge their players’ talents in training camp alone.

With that being the case, who are the top players, or what are the top positions to watch during training camp in 2020?

You can check out the video version of this article below, or continue scrolling for the written version:

New York Giants: Three Players Already On The Roster Who Could Replace DeAndre Baker

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants are once again at the forefront of sports media for all the wrong reasons. Last night, disappointing and gutwrenching news broke about Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker. The Miami Police Department issued an arrest warrant on DeAndre Baker. Baker is accused of committing four counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault. With Baker likely to be jailed, the Giants will need to look elsewhere at cornerback and find his replacement. Here are three players that are already on the roster who could potentially replace DeAndre Baker:

Julian Love

Julian Love started five games at safety for the Giants in 2019. He was expected to continue in a rotational safety role in 2020, but expectations have been subverted by DeAndre Baker’s incident. This makes Julian Love a potential option at outside cornerback.

Julian Love played safety as a rookie in the NFL, but he played cornerback in college. At that position, Love recorded 32 pass breakups and 4 interceptions over his last two years at Notre Dame.

“Pure and simple, Love is a cover guy who possesses the feet, hips, instincts and competitiveness you want in a corner.” – NFL.com analyst Lance Zierelein

Sam Beal

The Giants had high hopes when they selected Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft. So far, he has not exactly lived up to expectations. Injuries held Beal back in his first two seasons, but he was not overly impressive when he found the field.

Sam Beal played in 6 games and started 3 games in 2019. In those games, Beal allowed a 76.2% completion percentage when targeted. He allowed opposing receivers to gain 171 yards and 1 touchdown. Opposing quarterbacks recorded a passer rating of 115.4 against Sam Beal. If Beal is going to replace DeAndre Baker, the Giants will need him to improve his performance significantly.

Corey Ballentine

Corey Ballentine, the Giants’ 2019 sixth-round draft pick, could be an option to replace DeAndre Baker. Unfortunately, Ballentine’s situation is similar to Sam Beal’s. If he wants to earn this promotion, he needs to improve his performance.

Ballentine dealt with some injuries in 2019, but he did manage to play in 13 games and start 2 games. While Ballentine’s performance was slightly better than Beal’s, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Corey Ballentine allowed opposing offenses to complete 64.3% of their passes in his coverage. They totaled 393 yards and 4 touchdowns against Ballentine, too. Ballentine was a rookie, so his struggles are understood. However, if his impressive performances in last year’s training camp and preseason are any indication as to what Ballentine has in store for the future, then there is reason to believe he could earn the job.

Meet The New York Giants’ New & Improved 2020 Secondary

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants‘ secondary dealt with peaks and valleys in 2019. There were some big-plays mixed in with plenty of rookie mistakes and persistent struggles against top offenses. New York invested a lot of draft capital into its secondary in 2019 and doubled down this offseason.

The Giants made a big splash-signing at cornerback in free agency. They then followed that up by drafting a potential day-one starter at slot cornerback this past weekend. The New York Giants’ secondary is now loaded with young, versatile talents. The potential is there for the Giants to have one of the best young secondaries in the NFL in 2020.

The Versatile Safeties

Jabrill Peppers, Julian Love, and Xavier McKinney combine to create arguably the most versatile safety group in the NFL. Each of the players in this trio can line up in at least three different positions. Julian Love has played slot cornerback, deep free safety, and in-the-box strong safety. Jabrill Peppers is primarily an in-the-box strong safety but has also played linebacker and deep safety. In college, Xavier McKinney played over 200 snaps at three different positions; 323 snaps in the box, 227 in the slot, and 271 deep (PFF).

Thie trio of versatile safeties will allow Patrick Graham to be very creative with his defense. Having three different safeties that can each play three different positions efficiently will keep opposing offenses guessing. Typically there are only two safeties on the field at a time, but with this trio, Giants fans can expect to see plenty of three-safety looks.

Young, Talented Outside Cornerbacks

The Giants have invested heavily in their secondary over the past two years. They spent a first-round pick on DeAndre Baker last year. Baker struggled for much of his rookie season but seemed to show significant signs of improvement towards the end of the year. In 2020, DeAndre will start on the outside again and hopefully build on a promising finish to the 2019 season.

Starting opposite of Baker as the Giants’ primary cornerback will be newly signed free agent James Bradberry. Bradberry, coming from Carolina, is no stranger to following top-tier receiving talent. Bradberry shadowed the likes of Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Michael Thomas twice a year as a member of the Panthers. He will instantly join the Giants’ secondary as the best coverage man and take on the most challenging tasks for the defense week to week.

DeAndre Baker and James Bradberry will man the outside cornerback positions. But who will play the slot/nickel cornerback position? There will be a competition to see who gets that starting role but expect to see a rotation in this position.

Nickel Cornerback Competition

Last year, the slot cornerback position was manned by Grant Haley and Corey Ballentine. Haley struggled immensely in coverage but demonstrated impressive open-field tackling. Ballentine, a sixth-round draft pick from 2019, was not ready to perform and struggled considerably. But he showed a lot of promise last preseason, so hopefully, Ballentine can take a step forward and improve in 2020.

The latest addition to the slot cornerback position is 2020 fourth-round pick, Darnay Holmes, out of UCLA. Holmes played on the outside in college, but his limited size will move him into the slot at the professional level. Holmes did try out nickel cornerback at the Senior Bowl this year, and he said he loved it. Analysts pointed out that he excelled in that new role in Mobile.

The Giants have plenty of depth at the slot cornerback position. But who will be the starter at the nickel? As I stated earlier, expect to see rotation. Since day one, Joe Judge has made it clear: players will play to their strengths. They will not be asked to do things at which they are not proficient. These three slot cornerbacks all have different skillsets that can be applied in various ways.

Maximizing Potential Through Rotations

For example, Grant Haley struggles in coverage but is a solid open-field tackler. This is why the Giants can use Haley in goal-line or short-yardage packages. Third-and-goal, fourth-and-two, Grant Haley can go in there and make a clutch tackle to keep the defense short of the line to gain.

On the flip side, in long-yardage situations and obvious passing-downs, Darnay Holmes’s speed and athleticism will come into play. He has the speed to keep up with quicker receivers going deep and the coverage ability to stick with slot receivers on deep-breaking routes.

The Giants’ two-year investment into the secondary is paying off. They have the versatility and flexibility to move their players around and put them in the best situations possible to make an impact. Giants fans should be ecstatic about the foundation that has been laid out for the future of the defense.

A Look At The New York Giants’ 2020 Secondary After Signing James Bradberry

The New York Giants made a big splash signing today. Dave Gettleman and company signed cornerback James Bradberry to a three-year, $15 million deal, making him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. Bradberry is 26 years old and was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by Dave Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers.

James Bradberry is the Giants’ new number one cornerback. He will be the guy that follows opposing teams’ primary receiver. Bradberry will join a youthful Giants secondary that has received a heavy investment of assets in recent years. The former Carolina Panthers corner will be a big upgrade for the Giants’ secondary.

The Killer B’s

The New York Giants’ cornerbacks in 2020 (barring any more additions) will be as follows: James Bradberry, DeAndre Baker, Same Beal, Corey Ballentine, and Grant Haley. The oldest of the bunch is Bradberry at 26-years-old. Baker and Ballentine will both be entering their sophomore seasons while Beal enters his third pro season.

The Giants have a young group of cornerbacks that will start the 2020 NFL season. Youth, of course, means inexperience, also. That could be New York’s defensive downfall. But hopefully adding a veteran cornerback in James Bradberry helps the rest of the group develop.

The Two Jay’s

Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love will enter the 2020 NFL season as the Giants’ starting safeties (unless the team signs or drafts somebody uber-talented between now and September). The team’s safety duo provides more youthful talent to the defense. Julian Love is 21 and entering his second NFL season. Jabrill Peppers is 24, entering his fourth NFL season and second season with the New York Giants.

Julian Love showed promise filling in as a starter for the injured Peppers in the final five games of the 2019 season. He recorded 37 combined tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and only 4 missed tackles in 2019. The former collegiate slot cornerback converted to safety as a rookie and allowed only 190 yards and 1 touchdown in coverage.

Jabrill Peppers suffered an injury in 2019 that caused him to miss the final five games of the season. Up to that point, however, Jabrill was performing as possibly the best player on the Giants’ defense. In 11 games, JP totaled 76 combined tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and allowed only 1 touchdown in coverage.

The Giants’ young, talented secondary gives fans a reason to be excited heading into the 2020 NFL season. The youthful unit has all the potential in the world. Expect an impressive turnaround from the Giants’ pass-defense in 2020.

New York Giants: What Will Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine’s Roles Be In 2020?

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants invested heavily in their secondary last offseason. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). The Giants drafted DeAndre Baker in the first round, Julian Love in the fourth round, and Corey Ballentine in the sixth round. Sam Beal was selected in the third round of the supplemental draft.

In their rookie seasons, there were some ups, but there were also many downs. It was a particularly rocky season for both Ballentine and Beal. Granted, Ballentine was a sixth-round pick that probably was not meant to be a starter as a rookie. But he did not precisely show promise in that role during the 2019 NFL season.

Sam Beal’s young career has been off to an even shakier start. Beal missed his entire 2018 rookie season with an injury and struggled to get on the field in 2019 too. Once he finally did make his way onto the field, Beal’s performance was disappointing.

Both of these young players will be on the Giants’ roster in 2020. But, after inconsistent starts to their careers, it is hard to determine what their roles might be.

Corey Ballentine’s Role

Corey Ballentine was a surprising standout player in the 2019 preseason. He had some impressive plays in training camp and preseason, including an interception against the New York Jets. While Ballentine’s strong summer provided Giants fans with optimism, his performance did not exactly translate in the regular season.

Ballentine was targeted in coverage 42 times in 2019. He allowed 27 completions or 64.3%. Opposing offenses gained 393 yards against Ballentine and scored 4 touchdowns with a rating of 126.4. He clearly was not prepared for an expanded role as a rookie. 

In 2020, it is highly unlikely Corey Ballentine starts for the Giants. He started in 2 games in 2019, but he will likely be a depth piece for the Giants next season. The team has much money to spend in free agency and is likely to sign a cornerback at some point, diminishing Ballentine’s role further than his performance has.

Corey Ballentine should see the field in some capacity, however. On special teams, Ballentine should see some playing time. In 2019, Corey Ballentine was an effective kick returner. He returned 10 kickoffs for 256 yards, an average of 25.6, which is greater than a touchback. His longest return of the season was an impressive 52 yards. Corey Ballentine should have the chance to return more kicks in 2020.

Sam Beal’s Role

Sam Beal was expected to have a significant role with the Giants in 2019. New York drafted him in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft, which is pretty high for a prospect in the Supplemental Draft. Unfortunately, Beal’s career has been plagued with injuries so far.

Sam Beal suffered a shoulder injury during training camp in 2018 that left him sidelined for the entire season. Beal then injured his hamstring in 2019, which got him placed on injured reserve again. Sam did not make his regular-season debut until November of 2019.

It was good to see Beal finally get on the field, but it was disappointing to see him perform at such a weak level. Sam Beal was targeted in coverage 21 times in the 6 games he played, and 16 of those passes were completed or 76.2%. The opposition gained 171 yards on Beal and scored 1 touchdown. 

Beal is another player whose role is likely to diminish in 2020. His unfortunate injury history and underwhelming performance in 2019 could lead the Giants to replace the young defensive back ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

New York Giants Still Struggling With Injuries At Season’s End

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants have one game left and they have a chance to knock the Philadelphia Eagles out of the playoffs – however, it won’t be easy for them. Not just because they’re facing the top ranked team in the NFC East but because they’re coming into the game with some injuries on their own end, which will be familiar at this point for Giants fans after the team has spent most of the season banged up.

Some players might be back but the general trend of having multiple starters out with injuries will likely continue based on who was at practice on Wednesday – or rather, who was listed as participating and who wasn’t. The Giants didn’t practice on Wednesday but released an injury report regardless, showing who would have been kept out.

Corey Ballentine was marked out with a knee injury, Mike Remmers out with a concussion, Alec Ogletree with a back injury, and Lorenzo Carter with a knee injury.

These players aren’t exactly at unimportant positions, either – the offensive line hasn’t picked up a lot of praise this season and it’s debatable if Saquon Barkley will be able to repeat his big performance form last Sunday if the Giants have to deal with an injury at tackle.

Then again, the Giants were able to pull out the win despite Remmers having to leave the game last week with his concussion. Remmers only played in 17 snaps, or 24% for the game.

Ballentine is part of a secondary that would do good to not lose more players after its leader, Janoris Jenkins, was already waived earlier in the season. He had no insignificant part in the Giants’ win on Sunday as a member of the secondary who played 77% of the game’s snaps, making 5 combined tackles in the effort.

But with the Giants out of the playoffs and fighting to keep their high draft pick, a loss on Sunday likely wouldn’t bother too many people. And it’s definitely not any easier for the Giants to win this week, with a number of injuries to starters once again. That assumes, of course, that none of the players marked out on Wednesday bounce back in time for the game on Sunday.

New York Giants: 3 players up, 3 players down in win over Washington

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants weren’t only playing for their fourth win of the season on Sunday against the Washington Redskins; they were also battling for Chase Young in the upcoming NFL Draft. The loser of the game saw their chances of landing the generational pass-rusher increase significantly, and the Giants’ 41-35 victory sealed their fate.

Dropping to the 4th pick in the draft, Big Blue is still in a great position to draft a quality player, but it likely won’t be Young. However, establishing a winning culture and gaining momentum is a positive thing and is more critical to the development of the players than anything else.

Here are three players up and three players down for the New York Giants:

1.) Saquon Barkley – UP

Barkley rushed for 189 yards and caught four catches for 90 yards, reaching the endzone twice. This was easily Barkley’s best game of the season, as his rushing total set a career-high for the sophomore player. After weeks of battling through a high ankle sprain, Barkley finally seems to be back on track, despite being eliminated from playoff contention.

Getting back into the groove of things was the most crucial thing for Barkley in the final two games, and he can now move forward with the satisfaction of momentum.

2.) DeAndre Baker – DOWN

After consecutive weeks of elevating his play, Baker took a step back against the Redskins. He had trouble covering Terry McLaurin as the pass-catcher finished with 86 yards on the day. Baker did finish with ten combined tackles and one tackle for a loss.

With Janoris Jenkins taking his talents to New Orleans via the waiver wire, Baker is not the No. 1 corner and has been matched up against opposing team’s best receivers. His development is essential for the progress of the defense, but there’s little evidence suggesting the Giants can rely on him to be their top dog in 2020.

3.) Daniel Jones – UP

Jones’ first appearance since suffering a mild ankle sprain three weeks ago was fantastic. He returned to post five touchdowns on 352 yards. His 132.1 quarterback rating was perfect, and he continues to put together strong outings to further lead the Giants towards the promised land.

If there’s anything that GM Dave Gettleman has done right in his two years with Big Blue, it’s draft Jones, who’s on his way to becoming an established franchise quarterback in the NFL.

4.) Sam Beal – DOWN

Once again, the cornerbacks for the Giants were torched by less than adequate talent. After Dwyane Haskins was forced out with an ankle injury, Case Keenum thrashed the Giants’ defense for 158 yards and a touchdown. Beal struggled to impress in week 16, but he did manage to display his toughness after suffering a shoulder injury that he subsequently returned from.

5.) Lorenzo Carter – UP

Carter finished the night with 1.5 sacks, recording his first of the season in the category. He also had four QB hits. Carter has been a ghost for the majority of the season, but he proved his quality against Washington. If he can piece together a memorable performance against the Eagles in week 17, the Giants will be looking to replicate their strategy in opening up his game.

6.) Corey Ballentine – DOWN

Another cornerback in the down section, what a surprise. Ballentine cost the Giants a chance to win the game in the waning moments when he drew a defensive pass interference call on 4th and 1 with seconds remaining on the board. The penalty gave Washington a new set of down and an easy score on the following play. The Giants need ample help in the secondary, and it starts with the cornerback position.

Honorable mentions:

-Kaden Smith

-Riley Dixon