The Giants raised some eyebrows this offseason by using the free agent market to make big changes in multiple areas. One of the position groups that was affected the most was the cornerbacks. Veterans Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas are gone from a unit that held opponents to just 5.6 net yards per pass attempt in 2013.
To take their places, the Giants brought in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond. Both of the new cornerbacks played in the Super Bowl last season and should provide a nice kick in the rear to a team that is trying to get back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
Rodgers-Cromartie in particular is an exciting acquisition because of his ability to attack the ball and cause turnovers. In his six-year NFL career, Rodgers-Cromartie has scored five defensive touchdowns. In five of his six seasons, he has grabbed at least three interceptions.
Those skills make him different from New York's incumbent number one cornerback Prince Amukamara and his more conservative style.
"Me and him have different styles and he's an amazing, amazing, amazing athlete," said Amukamara of his new teammate, "So it's going to be great to learn off of him. I think this is his seventh year and any time that you have a vet on your team like I did with Corey it's always great to be that sponge and soak up everything you can."
Drafted out of Nebraska with the Giants' first round pick in 2011, Amukamara was expected to be the top cornerback of the future, but it appears that for now he'll take cede much of the spotlight to Rodgers-Cromartie. Head coach Tom Coughlin has already said that the newcomer will take on opponents' top receivers, and Amukamara is okay with that.
"I would just say that it doesn't really affect me; it doesn't really affect my goals of how I come into the season," he said about the role of Rodgers-Cromartie, "I'm always competing and I'm always just trying to be the number one corner on this team and in the league. It really doesn't affect how I prepare."
Considering the wide receiver talent present on the rosters of New York's rivals, having a pair of number one cornerbacks certainly won't hurt the team in 2014.