The New York Giants soccer team as a whole didn’t exactly kick off 2021 with much positive hype. However, their rebuilt secondary was one specific area that caught the attention of the NFL landscape. With pro bowler James Bradberry and safety precautions Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers, the team went off and added to the mix via the great free agent Adoree Jackson. Add in a sane Xavier McKinney, the promising Darnay Holmes, and the always eclectic Julian Love, and Big Blues Secondary had the top five upside written.
But we are now five weeks into the regular season and most of the time the device did not deliver. Peppers has been willingly sidelined (be it due to injury or the manager’s decision), Bradberry stepped back and Holmes rarely sniffs the field (five defensive snaps since week 3). Jackson was relatively good, but $ 39 million good? Well, that’s up for debate.
During the training camp it became quite apparent that the team was not being sold internally at its secondary depth as it was outside of the building. GM Dave Gettleman pressed not just one but two trades on the cornerback in August (Josh Jackson and Keion Crossen). With the November 2nd trading deadline looming, it looks like “Trader Dave” may be preparing to pull the trigger again.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Giants are among several teams that have “been actively watching the cornerback market over the past few months.” Regarding certain players the team could potentially target, the senior NFL reporter highlighted a bevy of key pieces from the Denver Broncos secondary school.
The Broncos made a surprising 3-2 start in 2021. A major reason for their success was their high school game, as opposing teams average only 207 yards per game against them – the sixth fewest in the NFL. However, with Ronald Darby’s imminent return, the Broncos phone lines could heat up again regarding Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan’s availability via Fowler:
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Sign up for the Heavy on Giants newsletter!
Fuller is probably the biggest draw here, that is at least from a naming standpoint. A two-time pro bowler, 29-year-old Fuller has shown lockdown traits in the past, particularly during his tenure with the Chicago Bears. However, since its all-pro first-team campaign in 2018, Virginia Tech’s product has come a significant step forward, hitting an average overall rating of just 57.0 Pro Football Focus, including a career low of 44.0 in 2021. For comparison: Fuller achieved an average grade of 80.0 from 2017 to 2018.
It still offers some intrigue, but with a $ 9 million price tag and an impending vacancy agency, sacrificing future draft capital on a year-long rental for a declining, aging gamer doesn’t seem like the right move.
As for Callahan, the former free agent has established himself as one of the best slot corners in the league over the course of his career. Like Fuller, he will also meet the Free Agency in 2022. The Giants have just lost Rodarius Williams for the season, which in theory could open the door for a player like Callahan on the inside. With that in mind, we’d much rather see those snaps go to a player like Holmes or Love potentially sinking to the nickel as the team struggled to get the most out of their security backlog.