Ryan Lewis’ ascension to starting cornerback in 2020 was a symbol of the lack of depth the Giants had at the position. His release from the team on Wednesday seems like a symbol that the problem has been corrected.
After bulking up at the position that plagued them for almost a full year, most significantly signing cornerback Adoree’ Jackson this offseason to be paired with James Bradberry as a starting corner, the Giants no longer needed Lewis. In fact, given the depth the Giants now enjoy, even if Lewis had remained on the roster he likely would have had an uphill battle to make the team in the fall.
Besides Jackson and Bradberry, the Giants’ cornerbacks for the coming season also currently include Darnay Holmes, Julian Love and Isaac Yiadom, all of whom started at various points in 2020, along with Joshua Kalu, Chris Milton, Madre Harper, Montre Hartage, Jarren Williams and Quincy Wilson. They also have Sam Beal returning after he opted out over COVID-19 concerns last season. Safeties Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney also played some cornerback last year.
Lewis was signed to the Giants’ practice squad right before the start of the 2020 season. His first game came in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers and he played five games with three starts before being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 6. In those five games Lewis had 13 tackles (11 solo) with one pass breakup.
His stint as a starter was brief, as were most at that spinning top of a position last season. The Giants began 2020 expecting DeAndre Baker to be a starter, but serious legal charges, which were later cleared, resulted in the team eventually waiving him. Beal was penciled in until he decided to skip the season. The Giants then spent all season hoping someone would step up and become that solid starter opposite Bradberry. It never happened . . . until the Giants signed Jackson last month.