The Giants are usually tight-lipped about their personnel plans, but it didn’t take any special inside access to know that the the team needs another starting cornerback.
Corey Webster and Aaron Ross are not coming back. Meanwhile, the Giants’ other unsigned UFA, Terrell Thomas, has begun exploring the market to see what’s out there and will pay a visit to Oakland, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
While it’s still possible that Thomas could return to New York, the Giants were reportedly exploring other options at cornerback—and not just any options, either.
Per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, the Giants had interest in two of the biggest names on the cornerback market: Sam Shields, who has re-signed with the Green Bay Packers, and Alterraun Verner, who has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
More recently, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Giants were one of several teams to make an inquiry about Darrelle Revis, prior to his release from the Bucs:
Is this simply a matter of the Giants doing their due diligence on what’s out there, or was there serious interest?
I think it was a lot more than just simply kicking the tires and the Giants were trying to get a sense of what the cornerback market might look like.
With many of the top corners now off the market—Revis signed with the New England Patriots on Wednesday night, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter—the Giants’ next course of action to find a starting cornerback might just be the draft.
The obvious pick would be Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert if he’s there at No. 12, as he has the pedigree to become a starter from Day 1 and an anchor of the defensive secondary.
In the interim, the Giants did re-sign Trumaine McBride, who was the starter last year after Webster and Ross went down with injuries.
McBride played well enough to earn a two-year deal worth $3.1 million, per ESPN, but as Dan Graziano pointed out in that same article:
The Giants used him as a starter in 2013 and know they can do it again in a pinch, but their preference would be to get a premier guy who pushes McBride down the depth chart a bit, strengthening them overall at this important position.
If the Giants want a premier guy to push McBride down the depth chart, drafting Gilbert makes the most sense if he’s there at No. 12.
That’s because, as Over the Cap notes, the No. 12 draft pick would only cost them an estimated $1.892 million—a bargain price for a player who could become a solid starter for several years.
Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.