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Giants fans won’t have Curtis Riley to complain about anymore

Giants’ 2018 starting free safety is joining Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Giants
Curtis Riley making an interception in 2018.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

This is one loss New York Giants fans are unlikely to complain about. The team’s 2018 starting free safety, Curtis Riley, is signing with the Oakland Raiders.

Riley, signed as a free agent last offseason, was the surprise winner of the Giants’ competition for the free safety spot. To put it mildly, he did not play well.

Riley led all safeties with 23 missed tackles, and a consistent habit of taking poor angles in run support led to a Pro Football Focus run grade of 37.1, last in the league among 64 qualifying safeties.

The Giants signed Antoine Bethea, a 13-year veteran who will be 35 when the season begins, to fill Riley’s spot.

“You need a guy in the back end that can get everybody lined up and make all the adjustment calls. If you don’t have that, you can’t function,” said GM Dave Gettleman. “I’ve watched Antoine (Bethea) for years, you talk about a great sixth round pick. He is an adult, he’s a professional football player. He knows what he is doing, he can still play. I have this crazy idea that age doesn’t bother me. I better because my age doesn’t bother me. At the end of the day, it’s about a good football player. Antoine Bethea is still a hell of a football player.”

Latimer returns

The Giants have also made the re-signing of wide receiver Cody Latimer official. A hamstring injury limited Latimer to six games last season. He caught 11 passes and averaged 24.6 yards on five kickoff returns.