Janoris Jenkins is a high-risk signing for Giants

The Giants' new starting cornerback adds a boom-or-bust element to the secondary.

| 1 year ago
(Credit: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

(Credit: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

Janoris Jenkins is a high-risk signing for Giants

Editor’s note: Grades and analysis for this article may be updated as further details of the deal are reported.

The deal: Per a report from Rand Getlin, cornerback Janoris Jenkins will sign with the Giants when free agency opens with Ian Rapoport adding that it will be a multi-year deal “worth more than $12 million per year.”

Grade: D

What it means for the Giants: This is a boom-or-bust move for the Giants. From a financial perspective, this is a big gamble on a cornerback who has not proven himself to be among the top tier of corners. Jenkins has consistently been a corner equally adept at creating impact plays for both his team and the opposition.

Since Jenkins entered the league in 2012, only Buster Skrine (25) and Patrick Peterson (23) have surrendered more than Jenkins’ 22 touchdowns, while only four corners (Antonio Cromartie, Brandon Carr, Cary Williams and Tramon Williams) have allowed more plays of 20-plus yards than Jenkins (39). On the positive side, Jenkins will make big plays for his own team as well; his 10 career interceptions are tied for the 12th-most since he entered the league, and his 34 passes defensed are tied for the seventh-most.

Paired with incumbent No. 1 corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jenkins gives the Giants two aggressive corners who love to make plays on the ball. Rodgers-Cromartie himself has 12 interceptions and 38 passes defensed since 2012, and if the Giants can land a pass-rusher to play opposite Jason Pierre-Paul, they are setting themselves up to have an extremely aggressive pass defense that could lead for some explosive games in 2016 — for both them and their opponents.

What it means for the Rams: When the Rams franchise-tagged Trumaine Johnson last week, it seemed clear that the Rams were moving on from trying to retain Jenkins. While Jenkins has provided Jekyll and Hyde play since he entered the league, Johnson has been a far more consistently positive presence in the Rams secondary. Johnson has 15 interceptions (five more than Jenkins) since 2012 and 20 pass defenses on 1,300 fewer snaps.

The Rams may look to bring in another corner either in the draft or in free agency, but E.J. Gaines impressed as a rookie in 2014 (2 INTs, 10 passes defensed, 79.0 passer rating allowed) and will look to provide a sturdy if unheralded, cornerback pairing with Johnson.

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • AJ

    Rams don’t need a second corner. E.J. Gaines is expected to step into the #2 role.

    • Ben Stockwell

      Yup, completely blanked on Gaines when I wrote this up. Have updated to mention him now, thanks.

  • Christopher M Thomas

    Completely agree, huge risk at that price. It doesn’t help that the lack of pass rush will put more pressure on that secondary. I sum up some pitfalls of free agency on a piece I wrote here: http://ready2ramble.com/free-agency-and-the-quick-fix/

  • crosseyedlemon

    The NFC East is wide open so this is the time for all the teams in that division to “go all in”. Sitting on hands and playing it safe may keep the GMs in this division employed but it won’t get them a division title.

  • iCoerce

    9 Months later and Jenkins is easily top 5 CB in the league and earning his pay.