As New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas spends his third offseason rehabbing a torn ACL, it is time to take a look at whether or not the veteran is, or should be, still in the team’s plans going forward for next year.
The 28-year old starter missed all of the 2011 season after tearing his ACL in the preseason. During the 2012 training camp, Thomas reaggravated the injury and never played a down. Suffice it to say that it has been a long time since he has played a meaningful snap.
Meanwhile, the team’s top cornerback, Corey Webster, had a dreadful 2012 season, consistently giving up big plays while coming up with very few of his own. This was quite in contrast to his 2011 season, where he stepped up his game and helped the Giants win the organization’s fourth Super Bowl trophy.
In 2011, it was former first round pick Aaron Ross who replaced Thomas as the starter opposite Webster. He has previously been the team’s nickel back. Despite a slow start, Ross came on strong and became an asset to the club.
This past season, Prince Amukamara, another first round pick from a year ago who missed most of his rookie season, was given the starting nod after the organization chose to re-sign Thomas instead of Ross, who left in free agency.
Despite some injuries, Amukamara also played well. That leaves Webster as the weak link between 2011 and 2012. The Giants cannot afford to put Webster out on the field in 2013 consistently covering the opposing team’s best receiver any more.
However, they may not be able to afford to bump him out of the starting lineup. Players of note behind him is just 2012 rookie Jayron Hosley, who is best suited to the nickel role, but could possible start.
Webster is due $7 million next season, and the performance that he offered the team this past season certainly does not justify the cost. It is possible that the team will release him instead.
Thomas, however, will most certainly not be back under his current contract, which essentially had an injury protection clause for the team. The team will assuredly cut him to get out of that contract.
However, Thomas wants to be back with the team, and he may be back under a more favorable deal—perhaps even veteran minimum. And if he does come back, it could even be at safety. Starter Kenny Phillips—oft injured himself—is an unrestricted free agent.
Antrel Rolle is cemented at one safety spot. Thomas could battle Stevie Brown for the other spot, but the Giants favor playing 3-safety packages frequently.
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