Giants Re-Sign Staff Favorite, Potential 2024 Starter: Report

Giants re-sign defensive back Nick McCloud in NFL free agency.

Getty The New York Giants have officially re-signed defensive back Nick McCloud in NFL free agency.

The New York Giants finalized a helpful reunion on the evening of April 15, as the NFL’s transaction notice relayed that restricted free agent defensive back Nick McCloud has officially re-signed for another season in blue.

The Athletic’s NYG beat writer Dan Duggan was among those reporting the news on Monday night.

“Restricted free agent Nick McCloud signed his contract today,” Duggan began. “This was essentially a formality, as there was no expectation of another team extending an offer sheet. McCloud’s contract is 1 year, $3M with no guaranteed money.”

The media member added that “I’d be shocked if the Giants don’t add a viable starting CB candidate in the draft or after in free agency.”

Before acknowledging: “But McCloud has a prime opportunity to push for a starting job. His early career reminds me a bit of Julian Love with how he’s performed well in a utility role. Love finally got his starting shot in Year 4 and seized the opportunity. We’ll see if McCloud can do the same.”

Nick McCloud Outperformed Giants’ Draft Picks in 2023

If you forget about draft status and just look at overall performance, McCloud was better than fellow NYG cornerbacks like Tre Hawkins (a 2023 sixth rounder) and Cor’Dale Flott (a 2022 third) in 2023. Not to mention forgotten draft picks like Darnay Holmes and Aaron Robinson.

According to Pro Football Focus, McCloud held pass-catchers to a 68.2% reception rate last year, allowing 10.1 yards per catch with zero penalties and a passer rating against of 83.9. These statistics yielded a coverage grade of 80.7, which ranked fourth for the Giants behind former safety Xavier McKinney and linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Bobby Okereke (minimum 25 coverage snaps).

If you look at Hawkins and Flott, both had a higher passer rating against, and more yards allowed per reception. The two draft picks also combined for nine penalty flags last year while playing a slightly higher snap count than McCloud.

Below were each of their coverage analytics, per PFF.

  • Flott: 59.4 coverage grade, 64.5% reception rate, 11.3 yards per reception, three charged touchdowns, three pass breakups, 95.6 passer rating against, five penalties.
  • Hawkins: 47.2 coverage grade, 80.8% reception rate, 15.7 yards per reception, three charged touchdowns, two pass breakups, 157.2 passer rating against, four penalties.

For reference, McCloud was only charged with one touchdown in coverage. Both he and Flott recorded one interception in 2023, while Hawkins was unable to register his first coverage takeaway of his NFL career.

McCloud played the majority of his snaps at cornerback last year, but he also mixed in at nickelback — Flott’s main role — and “box” safety. As Duggan alluded, some believe McCloud is the current favorite to start across from 2023 first rounder Deonte Banks.

Recent Giants Signing Matthew Adams Is Expected to Make Roster Based on Contract Guarantees

The contract details for another recent Big Blue signing were revealed on April 16. Duggan shared the news on X.

“LB Matthew Adams contract details with the Giants: 1 year, $1.3M with $967K guaranteed,” he posted.

Adding: “It’s a VSB [veteran salary benefit] deal, so the cap hit is $1.2M. That’s just shy of the max guarantee allowable for a VSB, so very strong odds that Adams makes the roster.”

Adams has made a name for himself as a core special teamer with the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns.

Over 435 special teams snaps in 2023, PFF graded Adams at an 86 out of 100. He forced one fumble and registered 17 total tackles as his overall football impact.

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