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2016 NFL free agency: Can New York Giants find help at cornerback?

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Cornerback is just another of the many positions where the Giants are in need of more players.

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Cornerback Sean Smith
Cornerback Sean Smith
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, you can never have enough quality cornerbacks and the New York Giants certainly did not have enough in 2015. Now, with starting corner Prince Amukamara headed to free agency and expected to price himself out of New York's comfort zone, how do the Giants replenish the position? Let's look at the free-agent market and see who is expected to be available.

The situation

The Giants have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at one corner, and nothing but questions after that.

The biggest question, of course, is whether or not to re-sign Amukamara. Former agent Joel Corry expects Amukamara to command around $8 million annually on the open market. Is that too much to pay for Amukamara, who has played a full season only once and has missed 25 games during his five-year career? Former agent Joel Corry thinks it is.

Beyond that, the Giants really don't have a quality slot corner. As for depth, well, they sure could use some. So, let's look at the market.

The big-money guys

Sean Smith -- At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds Smith is a big, physical corner.  Pro Football Focus rates Smith the best corner available and says "Smith is not an elite corner, but he has proven over the last two seasons that he is a solid No. 1 cornerback." Smith will be 29 next season, but should have some good seasons left. Sportrac estimates his market value at five years and $40 million, $8 million annually.

Janoris Jenkins -- At 27, Jenkins probably has the biggest upside of any of the corners on the market. PFF says that Jenkins is a player who can both make and give up big plays and points out that he has allowed 22 touchdown passes in four NFL seasons. Walter Football is more optimistic about Jenkins, rating him as the best corner who will hit the open market and writing that Jenkins "has a very bright future ahead of him." Spotrac estimates his market value at five years, $52.5 million, or $10.5 million annually.

Slot options

Casey Heyward -- The 26-year-old has played in the slot and outside, but is considered better in the slot. From our profile of Heyward:

Evan "Tex Western" of SB Nation's Acme Packing Company told me he believes Hayward is really a slot corner, and a good one.

"If you're looking for a slot corner with good ball skills and short-area quickness, Casey Hayward is your guy. If you need a player who can play on the outside and has the size and long speed to keep up with the league's bigger and faster receivers, look elsewhere. Hayward has proven over the past few years that he is quite productive on the slot, but those skills have not translated to the perimeter. Given the early successes of 2015 draft picks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins and Sam Shields' long-term extension in 2014, Hayward is unlikely to re-sign with Green Bay before free agency opens, and we expect that somebody will pay him pretty well as their third corner -- certainly more than Ted Thompson will be willing to spend."

SB Nation also ranks Hayward among the best cornerbacks expected to be available.

Hayward has versatility in the secondary, capable of playing both outside and in the slot, so that will undoubtedly help his chances of securing a big contract. He should have little trouble earning a starting job with teams desperate to find starting-quality cornerbacks.

Brandon Boykin -- One of the league's better slot corners while with the Philadelphia Eagles, Boykin had  weird 2015 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he did not play for a long stretch at the beginning of the season.

Other guys to consider

The players listed above would appear to be the best of the class. There are, however, many recognizable names available on the cornerback market. Patrick Robinson, Leon Hall, Jeremy Lane, Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers, Morris Claiborne are just a few of those. Here is the full list of free agent corners from Walter Football.

Which guys interest you.