The New York Giants probably have their top three cornerbacks in place for the 2013 NFL season now that Corey Webster has agreed to take a $3 million pay cut to remain with the team, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
But the presence of Webster, fellow starter Prince Amukamara and 2012 third-round pick Jayron Hosley shouldn't cause the Giants to rest easy when it comes to the cornerback position. Webster is still entering the final year of his contract and would need to show great improvement in order to merit a new deal in 2014, while the jury's still out on Hosley.
If anything, this just means that the Giants will likely shift their focus from finding corners on the open market to drafting them in April. It arguably buys the team some time, but I'm not even convinced that's the best approach to this situation.
Ideally, the Giants still make an effort to upgrade in this spot immediately. Free-agent corners don't come cheap, but Big Blue now has at least some cap flexibility and can use some of the $3 million Webster just saved them on a potential replacement.
At this point, considering how poorly Webster performed last season, they'd be better off spending some cash on a No. 2 corner with the ability to play the slot. That way, they'd be better suited to deal with guys like Miles Austin and Santana Moss and could flex Webster outside in nickel situations only.
Essentially, forcing Webster to compete with Hosley while bringing in a guy like Leodis McKelvin would be a dream scenario for this secondary.
That won't likely happen because the Giants still have five starters from 2012 who are slated to become unrestricted free agents on Tuesday. They'll have to take care of some of those players, or at least replace them. And don't forget that Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are both essentially entering contract years.
This indicates that New York is going to stick with Webster as a regular starter in 2013, turning away from the free-agent market in that spot and hoping that Webster's horrendous 2012 performance was a fluke.
If it wasn't, they'll regret this move. Had they simply cut Webster, they would have had the money to land any free-agent corner on the market.
The Giants have proven this offseason that they're good at knowing when it's time to move on. I admire their loyalty to Webster, but let's hope that this development doesn't cause them to become complacent when it comes to handling the defensive backfield.
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