Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Aaron Ross leaves Giants for Jaguars
By Dan Graziano
Cornerback Aaron Ross became the second member of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants to leave via free agency, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars for three years and $15.3 million. As with the departure of wide receiver Mario Manningham, who signed with the 49ers over the weekend, Ross' defection was expected. Earlier this offseason there had been some talk of finding a way to keep Ross. But after the Giants re-signed cornerback Terrell Thomas last week, they looked at Ross as a reserve cornerback behind Thomas, Corey Webster and possibly even 2011 first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara. With that kind of depth at the position, they were only going to bring Ross back at their price, which was surely less than what he got from Jacksonville.
The Washington Redskins, looking to deepen their own secondary, had Ross in for a visit late last week and had interest in signing him as well. But as with the Giants, the Redskins weren't necessarily looking for a starter. They have DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and the newly signed Cedric Griffin at cornerback. And while they would have liked to add Ross to that mix, they weren't willing to go as high as Jacksonville was to do so.
So the Giants feel they have the depth on their roster already to allow them to handle the loss of Ross, who won two Super Bowls with them and performed, overall, fairly well once he was thrust into a starter's role this past season due to Thomas' preseason knee injury. A former first-round pick, Ross had some 2011 games in which he flashed that first-round talent, and surely that's what caught the eye of Jacksonville, Washington and other interested teams.
Expect the Redskins to continue to hunt for free agents who can help add depth to their secondary, and don't rule out cornerback for them as a possibility in the middle rounds of the draft next month. They're picking a quarterback in the first round and don't have a second-round pick, but they still have a third-rounder and two fourths, and they still could use reinforcements in the secondary.