COMMENTARY | Last week, the New York Giants released linebacker Michael Boley, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty in a roster shake up designed to save the team money. Is Corey Webster the next to go?
Webster, who has been with the Giants since they drafted him in 2005, has helped the team win its last two Super Bowl championships. His memorable interception of Brett Favre in overtime of the 2007-08 NFC Championship Game set up the game-winning field goal by Lawrence Tynes. And he pulled down a career-high six interception in 2011, as the G-Men won their second title in five seasons.
He wasn't so reliable in 2012.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Webster surrendered 988 yards in coverage and a league second-most eight touchdowns as the Giants finished ranked No. 28 against the pass in 2012. Not only is Webster coming off a poor season, but he is scheduled to make $7 million in base salary in 2013. Those two factors may put his future employment with the team in jeopardy.
Remember, the Giants must set aside money for their upcoming draft picks and need to re-sign several key free agents, including unrestricted FAs Martellus Bennett, Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe and restricted FAs Victor Cruz, Stevie Brown and Andre Brown. Webster's big salary complicates matters. In fact, he may already be gone if the Giants weren't so thin in the secondary.
On Monday (Feb. 11), New York signed defensive back Terrell Thomas to a new, one-year contract which replaced the four-year deal he inked last year. However, Thomas will be coming off his second ACL injury in as many years and realistically can't be counted on next season. That leaves Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley as the only legitimate alternatives on the corners. So despite his poor season in 2012, I'm guessing that the Giants want to keep Webster around.
One solution may be for Webster to restructure his contract, like he did in 2009. At the time, the Giants took part of his base salary and converted it into a signing bonus to reduce his cap hit. However, even if Webster returns for less money, he is going to have to earn his keep in 2013.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.