The New York Giants could use a top-tier pass rusher. Everybody knows that. Circumstances, including draft position and what will be a thin and expensive free-agent market, could end up precluding the Giants from filling that need this offseason.
So, what are they to do?
Add as many good defensive players as they can across the board, especially in the back seven, and work to create them opportunities.
Here is what GM Dave Gettleman said at the Combine:
“Listen, who doesn’t want a great pass rusher? Anybody here? The bottom line is it’s who’s available and how you can make the best situation work. This is a throwing league. Everybody tells me that. You guys are very happy to tell me that, that it’s a throwing league,” Gettleman said. “Well at the end of the day, you need to have a strong backend, and oh by the way, if you have a strong back end, it helps your front end. The front end helps your back end. It’s complementary football is what it is.
“Listen, you guys know I’ve been involved with teams that have had great pass rushers. My first great pass rusher was Bruce Smith. I think he did pretty good. I know what it looks like. But sometimes, you do what you can. You do what you think is right.”
Could one of those right things to do be signing veteran cornerback Bradley Roby, a player who would bring much-needed experience and proven ability to handle the slot, as a free agent?
Let’s take a closer look.
Age: 28 in 2020 season
Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 194 pounds
2019 stats: Games played (10 — all starts) | Snaps played: 655 | Interceptions: 2 | Passes defended: 8 | Forced fumbles: 1 | Tackles: 38 (35 solo)
2019 base salary: $5,000,000 | 2019 cap hit: $9.812 million
Pro Football Focus: Overall: 66.8 | Run defense: 50.5 | Coverage: 68.9 | Passer rating against: 77.4
After five seasons with the Denver Broncos, Roby signed a one-year, $10 million “prove it” contract with the Houston Texans for the 2019 season.
Over The Cap expects Roby to cash in this time around, predicting a five-year, $55 million ($11 million per year) deal for Roby.
Roby offers versatility, having played 213 snaps in the slot and 360 snaps as a wide cornerback in 2019. In his final season in Denver (2018) he played 130 snaps in the slot an 752 wide.
The Giants would likely look at him primarily for slot duties, as young players Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley have shown to be ineffective in that role. Adding Roby could allow the Giants to lock down the slot cornerback role and give Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal and any young corner or corners added in the draft the chance to learn and grown on the outside.