Giants Announce Release of Former Starting Defender

Giants waive CB Ryan Lewis

Getty Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams makes a catch in front of Ryan Lewis #37 of the New York Giants.

The New York Giants splurged this offseason in hopes of halting the revolving door opposite James Bradberry in their secondary. Big Blue doled out a hefty $26.5 million guaranteed to bring Adoree’ Jackson on board.

Now with the former first-rounder in the mix, the services of one of the players that previously manned that CB2 gig is no longer needed. 

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Giants Waive CB Ryan Lewis

The team announced on Wednesday that they have officially waived cornerback Ryan Lewis.

The University of Pittsburgh product initially made his way to East Rutherford via the practice squad, inking a deal less than a week before opening night — a stint that didn’t last very long. By Week 3 he was called up to the active roster and by Week 4 he was thrust into the starting lineup. 

Lewis would go on to start the following three games for the Giants, playing an average of 96% of the team’s defensive snaps over that span. Lewis’ play — while uneven — was apparently enough to glue previous starters Corey Ballentine and Isaac Yiadom to the bench. During Lewis’ three-week run as a starter, both Ballentine and Yiadom combined for a total of just 15 defensive snaps. 

Unfortunately for the former undrafted free agent, Lewis’ 2020 campaign would come to an abrupt end as a hamstring injury would land him on season-ending injured reserve on November 6th. In total, Lewis appeared in five games (three starts) with the Giants this past season, recording 13 tackles and one pass defended.

Lewis had always been a player that seemingly intrigued the coaching staff, having prior history with both head coach Joe Judge, and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham during his previous stints in both New England and Miami. In fact, before ultimately getting their hands on the cornerback in September of last year, the team actually lost out to their NFC East rivals The Washington Football Team in a waiver-wire bidding war for his services in late July.


Giants are Loaded in the Secondary

While Lewis may have flashed at times, his play left much to be desired, evident by his 42.8 Pro Football Focus coverage grade.

Lewis was among a handful of players that the new coaching regime leaned on last year due to their familiarity with the system — Adrian Colbert and Trent Harris are prime examples of this. However, as Joe Judge and company continue to handpick talented players that fit their scheme, familiarity begins to get outweighed by pure ability.

And no area on the Giants’ roster currently bolsters more ability than their secondary.

Beyond the aforementioned James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson, the team has intriguing second-year pro Darnay Holmes, a 10-game starter in Isaac Yiadom and the ever-versatile Julian Love to deploy at the cornerback spot. On the backend, Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney make up one of the most vaunted safety groups in all of football. Add in wild cards Quincy Wilson and Sam Beal — two former early-round picks — and the Giants are working with a plethora of talent in the secondary.

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