In 2021, the Giants drafted two cornerbacks. They traded up to draft Aaron Robinson in Round 3, and selected Rodarius Williams in Round 6. In 2022, Cor’Dale Flott was a third-round pick.
Holmes, though, has been the team’s primary slot cornerback in each of those three seasons.
This season, once again, Holmes has a fight on his hands. Only this time, it isn’t just for his starting job. It’s for his roster spot.
The Giants drafted Tae Banks in Round 1 and camp star Tre Hawkins III in Round 6. Flott is still around. The Giants like slot cornerback Zyon Gilbert. Robinson is still around, though he is on PUP. Adoree’ Jackson has been spending time in the slot during training camp.
Holmes, still only 25 years old, has worked some with the first-, second- and third-teams thus far.
“I fit in exactly where I’m at now,” Holmes said recently. “Which is battling, which is contributing, which is being an asset on special teams. At the end of the day, I’m a team player and whatever comes with it, comes with it. I’m putting my best foot forward each and every day.
“At the end of the day, I’m just happy to be on the field. It doesn’t matter where I’m at in the rotation. I play this game because of the love and the passion and the competitor within me. I’m just happy I can line it up against some good guys on offense.”
The biggest issue for Holmes is that the Giants have only $5.175 million in salary cap space for 2023, and they could save $2.743 million by cutting the fourth-year player. The biggest asset he has is experience on a team without a lot of that at cornerback.
Holmes is focused on the day-to-day, not what happens with his roster spot or his contract.
“At the end of the day, that’s the business but where I’m at now is really just fine tuning, learning from the things we had from last practice and staying the course,” he said. “At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can control and I’m just controlling my physical well-being and my mental state.”