The NY Giants reportedly had a deal in place with veteran cornerback Ross Cockrell, but it blew up at the last minute leaving the team shorthanded.
I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill as any sensible NY Giants fan understands this is not a Super Bowl run type of season, but the cornerback situation is reaching desperation level after the Deandre Baker situation, Sam Beal opting out, and the savvy veteran cornerback, Ross Cockrell’s contract negotiations recently blowing up at the very last minute.
After Sam Beal shockingly backed out of the 2020 season for COVID-19 concerns, the NY Giants were left with newly signed stud cornerback James Bradberry and a group of totally inexperienced and lowly-drafted (except for Darnay Holmes who was a third-rounder) corners.
I scoured the free-agent cornerback market -which is actually a little deeper than you’d imagine – and came up with a list of the top 5 cornerbacks I’d like to see the NY Giants sign to be the potential starter across Bradberry and Cockrell checked in at number two; funny enough, the two played the last two years together in Carolina which can only be seen as a positive
Ever since I first began watching Cockrell back when he played for the NY Giants back in 2017, it was incredibly obvious to me that he was extremely underrated. In a dumpster fire of a season for Big Blue, Cockrell stood out as a quality player that reeled in 3 interceptions in 9 starts.
At 6’0, he would have been plenty big enough to play boundary corner for the 2020 NY Giants and it couldn’t have cost all that much which is the shame of it all. At this point in free agency, with a player that isn’t considered anything but average to most, the NY Giants and Cockrell were likely squabbling over $1M or so.
When you factor in the $16.4M the NY Giants “saved” after Nate Solder opted out, while I called for restraint and holding onto most of that money when you’re talking about $1-$2M to land a direly needed player it becomes a bit petty.
Last year, Cockrell had an amazing season in Carolina. The five-year veteran that’s played in 14 games or more in 4/5 seasons allowed just 55% of passes to be completed against him and a 66 QB rating.
If not for the Steelers acquiring Joe Haden and subsequently trading Cockrell early on in his career his name might ring out around the league much louder than it does.