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Jenkins

Giants land Rams corner Janoris Jenkins for $62M

With so much attention directed at the sad state of their pass rush, the Giants always knew their situation at cornerback needed to be addressed. They did so, in a big way.

They will sign Janoris Jenkins, perhaps the best cover corner on the market, as NFL free agency opens up Wednesday at 4 p.m.

This signals the end of the Giants career of Prince Amukamara, who is an unrestricted free agent and was not made a priority to re-sign.

Jenkins, 27, is a top-tier cornerback. He only missed four games in his four years with the Rams and had 10 career interceptions, plus five returns for touchdowns.

The deal for Jenkins is worth $62.5 million over five years (average salary of $12.5 million) and includes $29 million in guaranteed money, a princely sum for a player who will step into Amukamara’s role as a starter alongside Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Jenkins becomes the second highest-paid cornerback in the league, behind the Jets’ Darrelle Revis.

This hardly concludes the remaking of a woeful Giants defense. They will be big players for Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who is an unrestricted free agent now that Miami withdrew the transition tag they placed on him. Vernon could get a contract in excess of $15 million per year, and the Giants are in this negotiation to win it.

The Giants are also working to sign Damon “Snacks’’ Harrison, the Jets’ 350-pound run-stuffing defensive tackle.

Essentially, the Giants chose Jenkins over Amukamara, their 2011 first-round pick. Amukamara, 26, had his moments, but he established himself as a good — but certainly not great — player and could not stay healthy for long stretches.

The Giants entered free agency a hefty $56.6 million under the salary cap, determined to upgrade their defense and spend what they needed to spend to do so. They wanted to sign defensive end Charles Johnson, but he opted to take less money to stay with the Panthers. They pushed hard for Jenkins and will do the same with Vernon and Harrison.



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Neil S. Schwartz

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