The Giants were torched on long pass plays in 2012, but it wasn’t because they lacked elite talent. The injuries and lack of depth were what really hurt the New York defensive backfield.
It is true that the Giants need to find a replacement for cornerback Corey Webster, who obviously lost a step from his impressive 2011 season. That player could be a free agent acquisition, but the team should stay within its means.
On the opposite side of the field, Prince Amukamara showcased shutdown ability at times, but the second-year player struggled to stay on the field. Backup/nickel corner Jayron Hosley did not provide much relief, as he spent much of the season dealing with injuries of his own.
Safety Antrel Rolle was a leader in the backfield and should be the unit’s focal point in 2013. But his partner in crime, Kenny Phillips, is in a sticky situation. Phillips’ playing time was severely limited in 2012 due to a severe knee injury.
In his absence, Stevie Brown stepped up to the plate, snagging eight interceptions. Brown’s nose for the ball makes the fragile Phillips, who is about to become a free agent, seem expendable.
The Giants’ plans in the defensive backfield depend upon what the team does with Phillips. If he is re-signed, then New York will be set at safety. Regardless, the team needs to add depth at the cornerback position, and free agency will be one way to tackle that deficiency.