The New York Giants have to solve the Corey Webster situation before they make any moves at the cornerback position. The team can clear $9 million of salary cap space if they release Webster, but it still remains to be seen if he is willing to stick around at a substantially reduced price tag. Regardless, with uncertainty surrounding both Webster's performance and the health of Terrell Thomas, the Giants need a cornerback to add depth next season. Detroit Lions free-agent cornerback Chris Houston could make sense, as he's coming off the best season of his career in 2012.
The theme of the Giants offseason, just like any offseason, is going to be value. Historically, general manager Jerry Reese does not spend big on pricey, big name free-agents. Successful NFL teams build through the draft, and that's a philosophy the Giants have thrived under in recent years. However, with the glaring need the team has in the defensive backfield, it may not be prudent to wait on a rookie draft pick to develop into a contributor. Houston is not a lockdown cornerback or a player who is going to transform the Giants secondary into an intimidating unit. However, he presents great value on the free-agent market.
Houston is a well built, physical cornerback with good speed and reliable instincts. His veteran knowledge has given him an ability to jump routes and he's still physical enough to play in run support as well. Although recent seasons have not made the Lions known for their stellar pass defense, Houston is a reliable perimeter defender that would provide competition at the starting cornerback spot alongside Prince Amukamara.
Although it's difficult to project how successful a defensive back will be after changing teams and defensive schemes, Houston reigns from a Lions defense that relies heavily on pass rusher to get to the quarterback. His speed would allow him to fit in well in Perry Fewell's defense, as he would be asked to do perform similarly to what he did last season, when he established himself as Detriot's best cover cornerback.
After making $3 million last season, Houston may be due a modest raise in 2013. Even so, he can still be signed at half the price the Giants are slated to pay Webster next year. Given that Houston undoubtedly outperformed Webster in 2012, the Giants may look to make a change in the defensive backfield next season. Given that Houston will not command a top-dollar contract and plays a reliable cornerback position, his value may be too much for the Giants to pass up on the 2013 free-agent market.
Also…Corey Webster, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Houston, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas