Prince Amukamara is a free agent and now in a waiting game with the Giants.
A part of Prince Amukamara continues to hope that he’ll return to the Giants next season. But that definitely won’t happen until the veteran cornerback hits the free agent market first.
And that’s not all Amukamara’s doing. In an interview with SiriusXM Radio on Wednesday, the veteran corner indicated that the Giants have no interest in negotiating with him until he’s had a chance to test the market. Free agency opens on March 15.
“Every free agent had their exit meeting with Jerry Reese, our GM (with the Giants),” Amukamara said. “And he basically told me that he’s just . . . they’re going to wait til free agency (to negotiate). I don’t expect any talks to happen between (now and) then.”
It’s hardly a surprising move by the Giants. Reese seems set to remake the franchise for the second time since 2014, and after fielding one of the league’s all-time worst defense in last season, he very well could choose to remake the secondary. The Giants seem set at one cornerback position, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, their big-money acquisition two years ago.
Amukamara, 26, has shown flashes of emerging as another topflight corner, and early last season, he and Rodgers-Cromartie seemed a dangerous tandem. But Amukamara will likely be looking for a handsome payday at the start of this offseason, and while the Giants project to have significant cap space, it remains to be seen whether they’ll want to tie up the majority of that money in two corners.
And Amukamara knows there are serious knocks on his resume. A midseason pectoral tear limited him to just 11 games last season, marking the fourth time in his five years in the NFL that he’s failed to play a full 16-game slate. He started his NFL career by breaking a bone in his foot the day after signing in 2011. He ended the 2014 campaign on injured reserve. He insisted that he’s only suffered “fluke injuries,” but does understand the stigma he’ll face this offseason.
Prince Amukamara was part of a historically bad Giants defense in 2015.
“I feel like I’ve put out on film that when I’m on the field, I can definitely play and play as good as anybody,” Amukamara said. “But . . . I do have that injury bug or whatever attached to me. But I think my film, like I said is great enough to put me in a position to be one of the top corners to be picked up.”
That remains possible, especially if the Carolina Panthers franchise or sign Josh Norman before free agency opens and Amukamara realizes that. He admitted that he “wants to be paid for what you’re worth,” as well, and if some team falls in love with him, it’s unlikely that he’ll return to East Rutherford.
“Money is not a huge issue,” he said. “But as a professional, you definitely want to be paid for what you’re worth. If it’s something crazy, if it’s a crazy number per year, or guaranteed, I think it’s a no-brainer (I’ll sign with the team that makes that offer.”
“It’s just the reality,” he added, “and now it’s just a waiting game.”
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