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Giants to bring back CB Ross Cockrell, source confirms

Alshon Jeffery of the Philadelphia Eagles hauls a

Alshon Jeffery of the Philadelphia Eagles hauls a touchdown reception in the first quarter against Ross Cockrell of the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 17, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Giants may have found a veteran cornerback to compete for the starting job with two young candidates no longer in the picture.

Ross Cockrell, who played for the Giants in 2017, is expected to sign with the team once he passes his COVID-19 screening and physical in the coming days, a source confirmed to Newsday. Cockrell visited with the team on Saturday.

Cockrell not only has familiarity with the Giants from his one season in New York, but also with the one starting cornerback the Giants currently are counting on. He spent the last two seasons as James Bradberry's teammate with the Panthers. Bradberry signed with the Giants as a free agent this offseason.

The Giants needed an experienced player to contend for the job opposite Bradberry. They were counting on second-year player DeAndre Baker to fill that role, but he is on the commissioner’s exempt list as he faces four felony armed robbery charges in Florida. Third-year player Sam Beal was believed to be a strong candidate, but he opted out due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Cockrell missed the 2018 season with a fractured leg but returned in 2019 to record 54 solo tackles, and intercepted two passes. He had 37 tackles and three interceptions in 2017 with the Giants.

Besides the likely addition of Cockrell, the Giants also will consider Corey Ballentine, Grant Haley, Montre Hartage, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson and Julian Love for the position.

Notes and Quotes: Besides Cockrell, the Giants on Saturday also met with undrafted rookies WR Cody White of Michigan State and OT Jackson Dennis of Holy Cross and are expected to sign both after their Covid screening. White is the son of Sheldon White, a defensive back who played six seasons in the NFL, including in 1988-89 with the Giants. Both players were waived when their initial teams (the Chiefs and Cardinals, respectively) trimmed their rosters from 90 to 80 players at the start of training camp ... Rookie LB Tae Crowder   (Foot) was removed from the non-football injury list and is cleared to participate in workouts. The only Giants player still unavailable to practice because of a roster designation is DL Leonard Williams (hamstring). 

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