The New York Giants started last season off poorly on defense but ended up finishing the season eighth overall in the NFL in defense. That, however, hasn’t stopped GM Jerry Reese from overhauling the defense. Gone are defensive tackle Linval Joseph and defensive end Justin Tuck. Cornerback Terrell Thomas is likely to follow after the Giants inked 26-year-old cornerback Walter Thurmond away from the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.
Thurmond could very well challenge for a starting spot, assuming, of course, that the Giants don’t sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie doesn’t sign a contract after visiting with the team on Sunday. Thurmond was signed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal after serving mostly as the slot corner in Seattle’s fabled Legion of Boom secondary.
The Giants, if they don’t add another free agent corner, will allow Trumaine McBride, Jayron Hosley and Thurmond battle it out for the starting spot opposite Prince Amukamara. However, there are plenty of questions surrounding Thurmond. He was suspended for four games last season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In 2012 and 2011, he missed significant time due to a broken leg. He did play in 12 games last season and was fairly effective when on the field with six passes defensed, one interception the only one of his career, which he returned for a touchdown and added a sack and 33 combined tackles.
The Giants’ secondary is better with Thurmond who could be a steal if he lives up to his potential. The Giants did get younger at corner simply by letting Corey Webster and Thomas walk and there is plenty of talent with Thurmond, Hosley, McBride and Amukamara but in order for the Giants to return to the playoffs they will need that talent to translate.
Despite adding Thurmond, don’t be surprised if the Giants still address the position in the NFL Draft to add depth. For now, the Giants’ secondary should be younger, more athletic and could quite possibly be better than they were last season.