football

Can Ryan Help the Giants Corner Their Problem?

By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com

He was once one of the most highly coveted free agents by both the Giants and Jets.

Logan Ryan decided on wearing Blue and White. He signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Giants Monday.

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The 29-year-old, New Jersey native’s arrival presumably provided a huge suture to a Giants’ secondary that has been searching for an answer at one of their cornerback slots. Ryan also has connections with head coach Joe Judge when they were both with the Patriots. He easily could slide into a safety spot as well.

His pedigree as a Patriot and Titan make him an attractive addition.

Former number one draft pick cornerback Prince Amukamara recently was released by Oakland and has publicly stated his desire to return to the Giants. Could the 31-year-old have anything left in the tank to help?

More questions abound.

Does signing Ryan two weeks before the season close the Giants’ secondary wound? Was his reduction from $10 million –reportedly due to switching of agents – the trigger for the Giants? Were there other teams other than Cleveland anxious to sign him?

According to statistics, Ryan allowed a 66 percent completion rate, but he did have a combined 113 tackles with four interceptions. His better work was in the slot.

Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love are slotted at safety. But Ryan has been productive as a nickel back, and the Giants likely have lost prized rookie Xaiver McKinney for the majority of the season.

Even with Ryan, the Giants’ corner issues may not be solved. Free agent pickup James Bradberry wasn’t overly impressive in the team’s recent intra-squad scrimmage, and Corey Ballantine and Montre Hartage have yet to generate enough confidence. Grant Haley needs to find some consistency, and Nate Ebner is strictly a special teams specialist.

Bradberry wasn’t among the top 25 cornerbacks ranked in a piece from Pro Football Focus.

Still, Judge believes Ryan will be a valuable asset.

 “He’s going to play a variety of roles for us, so if I gave you one answer right there, I’d be lying,” Judge said on nygiants.com. “Logan, one of his strengths really is versatility. We’re going to play him in different packages all over the field. Really, having a guy like that allows you to play other guys in fewer positions because he can handle a lot of the multiples while these guys are learning the system.”

  One of those guys learning the system is fourth-round pick and UCLA grad Darnay Holmes, who was impressive before he suffered a “lower body injury” in the scrimmage. The Giants are high on him and have initially targeted him as their nickel back.

Ryan is expected to see time in the team’s intra-squad scrimmage Thursday before the players have the weekend off. The Giants have to trim the roster to their final 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday, and they will have shuffle through a handful of free agents and seventh-round pick Chris Williamson for spots.

Yes, the preseason is ready to make the final turn toward the season opener Sept. 14.

There has been plenty of indication that this is truly Judge’s team, and he is likely to make some surprise selections when the final bell tolls this weekend.

The Giants also will discover if Ryan can help sew their secondary together.

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