Their secondary remains a primary concern, but the signing of Logan Ryan gives the New York Giants a boost. With the start of the NFL season less than two weeks away, they even landed the versatile defensive back at a relative bargain price.
Logan Ryan is coming home to the New York Giants
The New York Giants agreed to terms Aug. 31 with free-agent defensive back Logan Ryan. The NFL Network reported the deal is for one year and $7.5 million.
Ryan comes to the Giants after four seasons with the New England Patriots and then three with the Tennessee Titans. He arrived in the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2013.
Ryan, 29, has appeared in 72 of 80 regular-season games over five seasons and is coming off a season in which he easily set career highs with 113 tackles and eight quarterback hits. His four interceptions in 16 games raised his career total to 17. Ryan, who won a pair of Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, has also made two interceptions in 15 playoff games.
Landing Ryan this late in the preseason is a considerable plus for the Giants. Although primarily a cornerback, he also took snaps last season at safety. The deal works out nicely for Ryan, too. He was born and raised in New Jersey, then attended Rutgers University. Playing for the Giants amounts to a homecoming for him.
The New York Giants needed help in the secondary
The New York Giants were 30th in scoring defense and 25th in yards surrendered a season ago. There was plenty of blame to go around, but the secondary was a mess. The front office has turned to former New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge and a new staff to make the necessary fixes.
The process began this spring when the Giants signed former Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry to a three-year deal. At 26, Bradberry is experienced yet young enough to still be around to enjoy the fruits of what the Giants hope is a rapid rebuilding.
The Giants’ top two draft picks on the defensive side of the ball were Alabama safety Xavier McKinney with the No. 36 selection and UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes in the fourth round.
Combined with new coaching blood, that should have been enough to fix may of the problems behind the front seven. Unfortunately for Judge, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
DeAndre Baker, already on his way to being categorized as a bust after one season, is on the commissioner’s exempt list while awaiting trial on four counts of armed robbery in Florida, and fellow cornerback Sam Beal took the COVID-19 pandemic opt-out.
Adding to the woes, McKinney injured a foot and could conceivably miss the entire season following surgery. Getting him back by Week 10 would be considered a win, but how much he’d be able to contribute is questionable. Holmes left Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage with an injury but was back on the field Sunday.
In that context, Judge understandably must be thrilled to be reunited with Ryan, primarily a cornerback but also versed in playing some downs at safety.
Logan Ryan made an executive decision
Logan Ryan could have joined the New York Giants much sooner, but at much more money. Coming off a three-year, $30 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, the NFL Network reported, Ryan was willing to take a short-term deal but not for less than $10 million a year.
As time went on in the spring and summer, Ryan became impatient while waiting for something to happen. Finally, he made a decision to become proactive. Ryan changed agents over the weekend, The New York Post reported. It’s now apparent that his directive to new representative Joel Segal was to make a deal with the Giants at the best possible price.
The decision gives the Giants a chance at making progress in their badly needed rebuilding.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.