The New York Giants are bringing back cornerback Aaron Ross into the fold after the Jacksonville Jaguars released him earlier week. Ross had long been the team’s nickel back before emerging as the starter in 2011 in place of Terrell Thomas, who missed the entire season with a torn ACL.
After the breakout 2011 season, Ross signed a 3 year, nearly $10 million contract with the Jaguars, but they released him after just one season. Although a deal is not get complete, Ross is expected to sign with the Giants later this week, so more details of the contract will be known then.
Ross returns to a crowded backfield after the Giants also re-signed Thomas, who also missed all of 2012. The New York Daily News, however, does not list Thomas as in the running for a starting position, or even the nickel position.
Last week, Corey Webster agreed to take a pay cut in order to stay with the team after having a poor 2012. Right now, it is likely that he and Prince Amukamara will be the starters, while Ross will compete with second year man Jayron Hosley for the nickel back job.
With safety Kenny Phillips likely to leave via free agency, the Giants tendered emerging safety Stevie Brown at a second round level and should easily retain him. The team likes to employ three safety looks, however, which suggests that Terrell Thomas may emerge in a safety role, as earlier speculated.
Although the team was adamant that Thomas was brought back as a cornerback, the moves since then—retaining Webster after a pay cut and now re-acquiring Ross—all but assures that Thomas has no chance at playing time at cornerback. He is not a special teams player either, so his likely best fit will be as a third safety in sub packages.
Ross, a former first round pick in 2007, perhaps never quite lived up to a first round billing, although he did managed 10 interceptions in his five seasons with the Giants. After a slow start in his one year as a starter in 2011, he played in all 16 games and intercepted four passes.
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