Corey Ballentine

Giants Sign Rookie Corey Ballentine

The Giants have signed sixth-round cornerback Corey Ballentine, according to a team announcement. Ballentine was shot in a tragic event that took the life of his friend and teammate on the night he was drafted, but he is expected to play at some point in the future. 

The Washburn University product is still recovering from the incident, both physically and mentally. The Giants instructed him to stay home for the early portion of the team’s workouts, but he’s now on hand to observe the second phase of the offseason program. He should be cleared to participate at some point this offseason, but there’s no definitive timetable yet.

Ballentine was one of three cornerbacks drafted by the Giants this year, along with Georgia’s Deandre Baker (first round) and Notre Dame’s Julian Love (fourth round). Love has signed, but Baker is one of the Giants’ four remaining unsigned selections.

In accordance with his slot, Ballentine will earn $2.7MM over the course of his four-year deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Bills, Jernigan, Fins, Giants

Prior to the Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones, the Bills were engaged in talks to move down from their No. 9 spot. In a must-watch piece for Bills fans and draft buffs, Brandon Beane allowed partial access to his team’s draft room (video link). Buffalo scrapped talks to trade down once New York selected Jones, with Beane zeroing in on Ed Oliver shortly after. It appeared the Bills, despite taking Dawson Knox in Round 3, did not have interest in T.J. Hockenson, the Lions’ selection at No. 8. Applause occurred after Detroit left Oliver on the board.

The Bills also offered an undisclosed team picking in the 20s, which initiated the talks, picks 40, 131 and 147. (Beane said multiple teams contacted him to inquire if the Bills wanted to move back into Round 1.) But said team did not believe that was enough to move out of the round. This move was likely for Cody Ford. The Bills attempted to trade up higher than they did in order to land Ford in the second round, with members of their draft room showing relief the Panthers — whom Bills execs assumed were taking the Oklahoma lineman — before striking a deal with the Raiders for No. 38. The Bills also rebuffed a Bears offer to move out of No. 74, which ended up sending running back Devin Singletary to Buffalo.

Moving to an NFCer’s defensive line situation, here is the latest from the East divisions:

  • The Eagles released Timmy Jernigan but brought him back at what turned out to be a substantial discount. After signing a four-year, $48MM extension late in 2017, Jernigan had to settle for a one-year, $1.25MM deal, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. This comes with $1MM guaranteed, including a $250K signing bonus. Another $750K is available in incentives, per Frank. Jernigan now enters what will be a significant season for his career trajectory. A full-time starter for the Super Bowl champion Eagles edition, Jernigan will only be 27 by the time free agency opens in 2020.
  • Currently at the Vikings‘ rookie camp, Sean McGuire appears to have another suitor in the event Minnesota does not sign him. The Dolphins are interested in adding the Western Illinois quarterback prospect, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). The Dolphins want to add a quarterback before their rookie camp begins May 10, Jackson continues. Miami now has Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Lions backup Jake Rudock on its roster. The Dolphins cut Luke Falk earlier this week. McGuire would seemingly compete for a third-string job or practice squad slot in Miami.
  • The Dolphins are likely to turn to the veteran offensive line market as well, Jackson writes, adding only four players — Laremy Tunsil, Daniel Kilgore, fellow starter Jesse Davis and third-round pick Michael Deiter — are true locks to make the roster. Although Jackson adds sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince and UFA signing Chris Reed will likely make the team as well, he notes the team appears ready to explore some additional help. Jared Veldheer, Donald Penn, Jermey Parnell, Mike Remmers, Andy Levitre and Stefen Wisniewski are some of the notable vets available.
  • Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine did not show for their rookie minicamp this weekend. The team wants the recent gunshot victim to stay in Kansas and be with family, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The Washburn-developed cornerback is expected to make a full recovery and attempt to make Big Blue’s 53-man roster — one without many surefire answers at corner.
  • Former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is officially listed on the Giants’ roster as a quarterback/tight end, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Dungey was a dual-threat player for the Orange, finishing his career with 1,993 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns.

Corey Ballentine Released From Hospital

Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine has been released from the hospital, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The cornerback was shot in the glute early on Sunday morning in a tragic incident that took the life of his former Washburn teammate Dwane Simmons

Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery and Giants GM Dave Gettleman recently said that he is expected to attend the team’s rookie minicamp later this week. Of course, it’ll still be a bit before he is cleared to resume football activities.

From a football perspective, the Giants are excited to see what Ballentine can bring to the table. A two-sport star in high school, Ballentine managed to make a name for himself at a small Division-II school. His wingspan, athleticism, and kick return ability had some evaluators pegging him for the fourth round, but the Giants managed to snag him later in the day on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sixth-Rounder Corey Ballentine Shot

Corey Ballentine, whom the Giants selected in the sixth round of the 2019 draft yesterday, was shot in central Topeka just hours later, per Erika Hall of WIBW.com. Ballentine, a cornerback from Washburn, is expected to make a full recovery, and he could recover in a matter of weeks, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Officers responded to reports of gunshots around 12:45am. Ballentine and Dwane Simmons, another Washburn football player, were both shot, but while Ballentine suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Simmons, 23, passed away in the street. Ballentine was taken to an area hospital.

The Giants have released the following statement (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post on Twitter):

“We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”

Tyler Greever of WIBW says that Ballentine was very close to Simmons, and that Ballentine was supposed to discuss being selected by the Giants at 3pm today (Twitter links). Obviously, the interview has been postponed.

Ballentine has the athletic ability to eventually compete for a significant role in the Giants’ defensive backfield, and hopefully he will be able to bounce back from this tragic turn to the start of his professional career.

We here at PFR offer our condolences to Simmons’ friends and family.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.