When will the string of bad luck end for the New York Giants and their cornerback position? With 2019 1st-rounder DeAndre Baker facing a possible life sentence in prison and fellow corner Sam Beal opting out of the 2020 NFL season, the Giants were left scraping for answers on the boundary of their defense.
It was believed they had found that answer in a former starter of their own in free-agent cornerback Ross Cockrell. The ex-Carolina Panther was reportedly expected to sign with the Giants over the weekend, should he clear the camp-entry COVID-19 testing.
That no longer appears to be the case.
Giants, Ross Cockrell Deal Falls Through
According to Newsday’s Tom Rock, “the expected deal between the team and veteran Ross Cockrell fell through.” Rock added that “Cockrell had visited the team on Saturday and had begun the protocols to clear the COVID-19 testing, but the contract at the end of that process never materialized.” Simply put, the two sides “couldn’t come to an agreement.”
Cockrell spent the previous two seasons as a member of the Carolina Panthers, but missed 2018 with a broken left tibia. The now 29-year-old saw his struggles in his first year back from injury, culminating in a career-low Pro Football Focus grade of just 57.5.
However, when healthy Cockrell has proven to be a steady contributor throughout his six-year career. Prior to his injury, Cockrell was riding a three-year streak of an overall PFF grade of 71.0 or above. Those numbers include a solid 71.1 grade during his one-year stint with the Giants as a nine-game starter back in 2017.
Cockrell will now return to free-agency, while the Giants will return to the cornerback market.
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Where Does NY Go From Here?
To say the Giants are in a predicament when it comes to their cornerback position is likely an understatement. Losing yet another potential starter in your defensive backfield in the second week of August is certainly not how you’d like the start of training camp to go.
However, while Cockrell would have been a nice addition, him not signing in New York simply puts them back in the same position they were just a few days ago. Plus, if we’re being honest, if the Giants were planning on Cockrell to be the be-all end-all answer opposite James Bradberry, they would have likely been sadly mistaken.
Free-agent Logan Ryan still remains unsigned and is by far the top defensive back on the market. With that said, his desire to switch positions to safety would not make for a seamless fit in New York. Although, the Giants’ added cap space from Nate Solder’s opt out could entice Ryan to give it one more go at his natural position of cornerback.
Aside from potentially adding Ryan, look for the Giants to more than likely give youngsters Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine and Montre Hartage all a fair shot of nailing down the CB2 gig opposite of Bradberry.