As the NFL free agency rumor mill cranks up, ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan dropped a bunch of names on Monday morning of players the New York Giants “have some level of interest in.”
One name on that list jumped out to me — New England Patriots veteran cornerback Jason McCourty.
Now “some level of interest” can mean a lot of different things. A lot? A little? Somewhere in between? Who knows? It makes some sense, though, that if the soon-to-be 34-year-old wants to squeeze one more year out of a terrific career that began in 2009 that the Giants would be a potential destination should he leave the Patriots.
- McCourty, a 2009 sixth-round pick by the Tennessee Titans, spent the last three seasons in New England. Giants coach Joe Judge was there for the first two of those.
- The Giants could use an upgrade at their No. 2 cornerback spot opposite James Bradberry, and McCourty could provide that for a year while the Giants either develop a young player to eventually take that job or look for a long-term solution in the 2022 draft or free agency period.
- The Giants don’t have a boatload of money to spend during this free agent cycle, but could be flush with money a year from now. That further makes the idea of a one-year commitment logical.
- McCourty, like Logan Ryan of the Giants, is a New Jersey native who played collegiately at Rutgers. Coming home to finish his career makes sense.
McCourty didn’t have a great season for New England in 2020, perhaps a sign that he is coming to the end of the line. He had a 135.0 passer rating against, second-worst of his career behind a 143.8 passer rating against as a rookie in 2009.
Bernd Buchmasser of SB Nation’s Patriots website, Pats Pulpit, still believes that McCourty could have value for a team like the Giants.
“McCourty may be coming off an inconsistent season and will turn 34 in August, but he can still have value to a team like the Giants if used to his strengths: he is not a number one cornerback to be left on an island, but still has the speed, football IQ and strong technical foundation to work as a rotational number two/three guy at cornerback either on the perimeter or in the slot. Optionally, like the Patriots did at times in 2020, he also could be used as a deep-field safety,” Buchmasser said.
“His biggest strength, however, might be his leadership. McCourty was voted a captain in New England last year after actively taking part in the team’s so-called “Monday Meetings” — a weekly one-hour meeting designed at discussing social justice matters with the whole squad and other members of the organization. While the team structure in New York might be a bit different, McCourty could still serve as a vocal locker room voice and a mentor for younger players both on and off the field.”
In Judge’s rookie season as Giants head coach, the team brought in Ryan, Dion Lewis, Nate Ebner and Cam Fleming — all players Judge had ties to from his Patriots days. Could they add McCourty to that list?
Your thoughts, Giants fans?