While the value is not quite what Ryan hoped for earlier this offseason, it represents a nice payday for a player who spent more than five months in free agency. Ryan, who changed agents over the weekend, will also return to his native New Jersey for his eighth NFL season.
Earlier Monday, Ryan was reported to have interest in joining the Giants, who had been monitoring his market for a while. This will take one of the top free agents off the market. Although Ryan will have less than two weeks with his new team before Week 1, he has a history with new Giants head coach Joe Judge and DC Patrick Graham. Both were in New England during Ryan’s four-year Patriots tenure.
Ryan’s fit will be interesting, because the Giants could use help at multiple spots. The former Patriots and Titans slot defender recently marketed himself as a safety, citing his cornerback-most 113 tackles last season as a selling point. The Giants, though, saw Sam Beal opt out and DeAndre Baker land on the commissioner’s exempt list. But second-round pick Xavier McKinney, an expected safety starter, suffered a broken foot. Ryan saw far more time at slot corner than safety in 2019. Regardless, the Rutgers product will be expected to be a full-time player for the Giants this season.
The 29-year-old defender intercepted four passes last season and has 17 career picks; 13 of those came with the Patriots. The Jets were close to a deal with Ryan earlier this year, and the Dolphins expressed interest in adding another ex-Patriot to their roster. The Ravens were also moderately interested, though Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets Baltimore was not prepared to pay $7.5MM. But the Giants won out and will help their needy defense with a player who may play a versatile role in 2020.
The Giants ranked 31st in pass-defense DVOA last season. They have now added Ryan and James Bradberry to their secondary, which could include McKinney during the season’s second half. He looms as an IR-return candidate. While questions remain about Big Blue’s pass rush, their secondary looks to be upgraded.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.