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Will safety Trenton Thompson get another year in New York?

There are lots of new options in the secondary

NFL: New York Giants at New York Jets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ safety room is stuffed with young, unproven players looking to earn the playing time vacated by Julian Love’s departure this offseason. Xavier McKinney will be a starter. There are several options who could play beside him, and several more who could stick around as backups.

Does Trenton Thompson’s year of experience with the Giants give him an advantage to stick around in some capacity? Or will the sudden influx of new safeties leave him without a role in New York?

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 196
Age: 26
Position: Safety
Experience: 1
Contract: One-year, $750,000 deal | 2023 cap hit: $750,000

Career to date

Injuries and COVID-19 allowed Thompson to stay at San Diego State for six seasons. He finished his career with 187 tackles, three interceptions, and 26 passes defended in 55 games. He also played on special teas, recording two blocked punts and 13 tackles. Pro Football Network named him to their All-American third team in 2021.

Mountain West Wire graded Thompson as a seventh-round pick, noting his versatility and good instincts while expressing concern over his age and limited upside. Thompson did not hear his name called on draft day and signed with the Giants as a free agent.

Thompson spent the year on the Giants’ practice squad. He was promoted to the main roster for just one game when Tony Jefferson was injured but played just 12 snaps on special teams.

2023 outlook

Thompson displayed the versatility to defend against the run and drop back in pass coverage while at San Diego State. That makes him a good fit for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who likes to use his safeties all over the field. He’s not the fastest player though, with a 4.61 second 40-yard dash time at his pro day.

The Giants don’t have a clear-cut No. 2 safety to start opposite Xavier McKinney, but it’s unlikely that Thompson will be competing for anything more than a spot on the practice squad. New York signed veteran Bobby McCain in free agency and appear to be converting Nick McCloud to safety. They also drafted Gervarrius Owens in the seventh round. The coaching staff will likely see all three of them as more valuable backups than Thompson.

Given the lack of proven talent at safety, there’s still a good chance the Giants could stash Thompson on their practice squad to fill in if necessary. His utility on special teams will only help his case. Thompson will be competing with rookie free agent Alex Cook, who is a strong tackler but projects more as a one-dimensional run stopper. However, Thompson’s age could be seen as a cap on his upside. He’s already 26 years old, making him the second-oldest safety on the roster despite his inexperience.