The New York Giants continued their free agency splurge on Monday by signing cornerback Zack Bowman to a one-year deal. On the surface, the deal may seem like somewhat of a head-scratcher. Bowman joins an already crowded group of defensive backs that includes Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond, Trumaine McBride and Charles James. The Giants still have unaddressed needs at tight end and wide receiver as well as questionable depth at defensive end and center.
Bowman’s deal is not about bringing additional depth to a position of strength; it is about securing up a special teams unit that cost the Giants dearly in 2013. Sure, he is a capable cornerback who can step into a starting role if the personnel in front of him goes down, but more importantly he’s a valuable special teams contributor who won’t miss tackles or lane assignments on kickoff returns.
New York made special teams waves earlier this offseason by inking Quintin Demps and Trindon Holliday, two dependable return specialists who should instantly upgrade New York’s average starting field position. The addition of Bowman shows a sound strategic commitment by New York general manager Jerry Reese to all components of special teams.
The Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin take inherent pride in the team’s emphasis on fundamentals. Throughout the 2013 season, the Giants too frequently missed tackles and blocks, muffed punts and lost the field position battle. Bowman should help make sure that such avoidable mistakes do not become repeat offenses. If he does, he will be an unsung but dependable component of New York’s 2014 roster.