Throughout the offseason, whenever Ed made his prediction for the 2016 New York Giants roster, he was adamant that they would sign a veteran slot corner at some point before the season started.
That prediction came true today. The Giants have officially announced the signing of Leon Hall. To make room for him, cornerback Tramain Jacobs has been waived.
The Giants met with Hall earlier in the offseason, then again on Wednesday when he worked out for the team. Though Hall left without a contract, the Giants were reportedly impressed with his fitness and football savvy. After considering offers from both the Giants and a return to the Bengals — who lost their first-round pick William Jackson III to a torn pectoral muscle — Hall is coming to New York.
"Leon is one of the versatile veteran corners that we had targeted during the free agency period," general manager Jerry Reese said. "He was very impressive at the workout Wednesday, he brings tons of experience, and also brings veteran leadership to our defense."
"We're fortunate to add Leon to the roster," coach Ben McAdoo said. "He's a pro's pro, has played a lot of football, and has a nice skill set for us."
McAdoo said in a statement from the Giants that "we see him playing a lot of football for us, serving as a nickel."
Hall, 31, said he is "comfortable" in the slot. What might be uncomfortable for him will be playing for a team other than the Cincinnati Bengals for the first time in his 10-year career.
"I'm a little nervous, naturally, but definitely anxious and excited," he said. "I've been working out, but it's different when you're not with a team and training camp. Everybody started last week, so I've been watching on TV. Sitting around watching is not fun, so I'm excited to actually put some cleats on again.
"It's a little bittersweet, but it's exciting. Everything is going to be a little different, but sometimes different is good. I'm excited for the opportunity."
With a cornerback depth chart that now includes Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Hall and Tevin Wade the Giants secondary is significantly more threatening than it was a year ago.
But perhaps what Hall offers more than anything is a veteran presence to help teach young players like Eli Apple, Wade and Donte Deayon, and the Giants’ safeties. If he can be a "Deon Grant" who brings good depth, stability, and experience to a vital position, this signing could be a definite win for the Giants.