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NFL free agency 2018: Should the Giants bring Prince Amukamara back?

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Cornerback position is in flux right now

NFL: Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Prince Amukamara
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have an unsettled cornerback situation heading into 2018.

  • Ross Cockrell, who played in all 16 games with nine starts in 2017, is a free agent.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, at 31 with an $8.5 million salary cap hit, could be a cap casualty. Even if he is not, there is talk of him moving to free safety.
  • The status of Eli Apple remains a question mark. Will the Giants move on from Apple after a troubling 2017 season, or give him another chance?
  • Even Janoris Jenkins, who like DRC and Apple served a disciplinary suspension last season, could be on shaky ground. He carries a $13 million cap hit for 2018, and the Giants could save $11 million of that by designating him a post-June 1 cut.

With all of that uncertainty, could the Giants be in the market for free-agent cornerback help? If they are, could they turn to old friend Prince Amukamara in hopes of finding it?

Amukamara, the Giants’ 2011 first-round pick, left via free agency before the 2016 season. Basically, the Giants chose to give a big pay day (five years, $62.5 million, $28.8 million guaranteed) to Jenkins rather than spend big to keep Amukamara.

At the time, no one could blame them. In five seasons with the Giants, Amukamara had settled in as a pretty good but not great corner. He was starting, but not shut-down caliber.

Amukamara always had two primary issues. He didn’t create enough turnovers, with only seven interceptions and three forced fumbles in five seasons in New York. He also missed too many games, missing 25 of 80 regular-season games playing all 16 games only once in five seasons.

Those problems are still there. Amukamara has not intercepted a pass the past two seasons, 2016 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and last season with the Chicago Bears. He also missed two games with injuries in each of those two seasons, and now has played a full season only once in seven years.

That said, he is still what he always was — a pretty good but not great starting-caliber cornerback. Here are his applicable Pro Football Focus numbers the past two years:

  • 2016: 75.5 overall grade, 43rd among 109 qualifying corners; 31 catches allowed, 365 yds, 1 TD, 0 INTs
  • 2017: 81.2 overall grade, 41st out of 121 qualifying corners; 50 catches allowed, 598 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs

Amukamara, who will be 29 next season, made $7 million in Chicago last season. Would you like to see the Giants try to bring him back, perhaps on a one- or two-year deal?