The outside cornerback position for the New York Giants has been a never-ending game of musical chairs over the first month of the NFL season. Corey Ballentine, Issac Yiadom and Ryan Lewis have all attempted to stake claim to the starting gig opposite standout James Bradberry. All of them have either failed or received incomplete grades to this point. Maybe that’s because the chair would have been best suited for royalty? Namely, a Prince.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara and the Arizona Cardinals came to a contractual agreement on Thursday, pending his COVID-19 test results, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. While Amukamara’s addition to the league’s 10th-best pass defense is likely music to the ears of fans in the desert, it was a tweet by Graziano’s colleague, Jordan Raanan, which caught the eyes of Giants faithful.
The Giants had expressed some interest in recent weeks. Amukamara is a proven veteran CB who can play on the outside. https://t.co/TYzJeXwSgC
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) October 8, 2020
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Amukamara Had Expressed Interest in a Giants Reunion
Big Blue broaching the subject of a potential second-stint with their 2011 first-round selection shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. New Jersey Media Group’s Matt Lombardo reported back in late-August that sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking noted the Giants showed interest in Amukamara then. An interest of which, was apparently a two-way street.
“That’s where I started,” Amukamara told The New York Post of a potential return to New York following his release by the Raiders earlier this year. “It would be awesome.”
Amukamara Would Have Not Fit Big Blue’s Current Philosophy
While the interest between both parties was by no means shocking, the fact that Amukamara didn’t return to New York is even less of a surprise.
The Giants are in the midst of a youth movement, currently owning one of the NFL’s 10th-youngest rosters, with an average player age under 26. When former cornerback DeAndre Baker’s legal issues initially arose back in May, New York had plenty of time and available options to fill his roster spot with proven commodities. They chose not to. Instead, New York opted for young and intriguing, albeit unproven, talents at the position via trade and the waiver wire.
You may ask, what about the Logan Ryan addition? Ryan wasn’t an outside cornerback during his days in Tennessee and continues to be used mainly as a slot corner and/or safety currently with the Giants.
Unfortunately, Amukamara, 31-years-old, would not have been the ideal roster addition for the G-Men from an age perspective. With that said, his on-field play would have likely greatly exceeded any of the numerous cornerbacks the Giants have trotted out opposite James Bradberry this season.
Corey Ballentine started the first two weeks on the outside for Big Blue, but was unceremoniously benched early in Week 2 after surrendering a touchdown. The 2019 sixth-rounder has not seen a defensive snap since. Issac Yiadom, who the Giants acquired in a trade with the Broncos in early September, started Week 3 and Week 4. Yet, just like his predecessor, he was tossed aside for the new kid on the block, being outsnapped by Ryan Lewis 42-15 this past Sunday.
While the Giants continue to look for answers at the position, the Cardinals on the other hand, get themselves a player in Amukamara who has posted a 70-plus Pro Football Focus coverage grade every year since 2017. In 2019, Amukamara was the Chicago Bears’ fourth-most valuable player according to PFF WAR.
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