The Giants did not pursue cornerback Aaron Ross in free agency and his departure yesterday came as no surprise. Ross signed a three-year contract with the Jaguars that can be worth $15.3 million and now the Giants must hope Terrell Thomas’ knee and Prince Amukamara’s foot are healing and ready for heavy-duty workloads.
The decision not to make a play for Ross is based on the Giants’ belief Thomas can regain his form and once again be a starting cornerback. Thomas is on schedule coming back from surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament and, prior to free agency, was re-signed to a four-year contract that can be worth up to $28.4 million. More telling, the deal protects the Giants if Thomas cannot make a successful comeback, as it is really a one-year deal worth $2 million with a team option for the remainder of the contract.
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Last season the Giants were ravaged at cornerback, with five landing on season-ending injured reserve. Four of the cornerbacks — Thomas, Bruce Johnson, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon — were re-signed. The Giants are also counting heavily on Amukamara, their first-round pick in 2011, who missed the first seven games with a broken foot and, when he returned, endured significant growing pains.
This offseason Amukamara underwent Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, an injection procedure to aid the healing process in his left foot. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw underwent the same procedure on his right foot.
Ross, 29, started at cornerback for the Giants’ two most recent Super Bowl victories and is the first of those two-time champions to leave. The Giants did not make a big play to keep the 2007 first-round pick.
He is the second key member of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team to exit, following receiver Mario Manningham, who signed a two-year deal with the 49ers. As with Ross, the Giants fully expected Manningham to leave.
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