New York should most definitely attempt to bring Ryan back beyond the 2020 season.
How He Got Here:
Logan Ryan played his college football for the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University. The Patriots selected the versatile cornerback in the third round of the 2013 draft- number 83 overall.
His career began as a boundary cornerback in New England. This is where he spent the first four years of his career.
He had an incredible rookie season in 2013. Ryan quickly established himself as one of the best rookie corners in the league and went on to finish near the top of the Defensive Rookie of the Year Voting. He saw playing time in all 16-games that year, starting in seven.
Even as a rookie, Ryan could really stuff a stat sheet. He finished the year with 42 tackles, 10 passes defended, and one forced fumble. He also recorded 1.5 sacks, five interceptions, and a touchdown.
When his rookie contract expired after four years, he signed a three-year/$30 million contract with the Tennessee Titans. From 2017-2019, he excelled while playing for them. Enthralling the fan base with his multifaceted play style on the field.
Logan Ryan did some of everything in Tennessee. Finishing his three year run with the Titans in 2019 with 263 tackles, 17 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, 10 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and 9.5 sacks.
The Giants were said to have Logan Ryan on their wish-list upon entering the 2020 free agency period.
His combination of age and $10+ million/year salary demands scared a lot of teams away during the process. Signing someone in their 30’s to a multi-year contract isn’t feasible for that high of a salary.
General manager Dave Gettleman had approached Ryan’s agent about a potential deal, but his aforementioned age/price tag was too much.
This is what led to him still being available for the Giants to sign him right before the season started. The Giants were always thought of as one of the favorites to land Ryan due to his growing up in New Jersey and playing collegiately at Rutgers. Dave Gettleman took a wait-and-see approach with Ryan, and it paid off as they were able to nab him on a one-year deal at a discounted rate right before the season began.
New York added Ryan because they lost three of their top four defensive backs before they even played a snap in 2020. Deandre Baker was arrested for armed robbery, Sam Beal opted out of the season due to Covid-19 concerns, and rookie second-round pick, Xavier McKinney, broke his foot in training camp and was forced to miss the first 11-games of the season.
The two-time Super Bowl champion signed a one-year $7.5 million contract with the Giants in late August. This is really a one-year $5 million deal with $2.5 million in defensive snaps played and Pro Bowl incentives added on.
*Logan Ryan 2020 Base Contract + Incentives:
- One-Year Guarantee- $5 million
- 60% of Defensive Snaps-$600K
- 80% of Defensive Snaps- $1 Million
- 90% of Defensive Snaps- $1.5 Million
- 1 Year Maximum- $7.5 Million
Things to Know:
It looks like Logan Ryan is going to earn the entirety of his $7.5 million salary this season. He has played well over 90% of the Giants’ defensive snaps and almost never comes off the field. His leadership in the locker room and on the field is a big reason the Giants field a top 10 overall defense.
He also currently leads all NFC Safeties in Pro Bowl voting. This would mark the first Pro Bowl selection of his eight-year career.
Many people also felt he deserved to be a Pro Bowler in 2019.
Ryan had a career year for the Titans in 2019. Tallying 113 tackles, 18 passes defended, four tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, four interceptions, and 4.5 sacks. This impressive season saw him voted by his peers as the 60th best player overall in the 2019 NFL Top 100.
What He Brings to a Defense:
Logan Ryan brings a lot of elements to a football team.
His on-field abilities and versatility are irrefutable. He displays a full skill set of high-level NFL traits. Talents such as a high football IQ, tackling, blitzing, and coverage ability. His versatility allows him to be multi-dimensional and line up all over the defense. He can cover tight ends & running backs out of the backfield, receivers in the slot, going outside to boundary cornerback, or playing a deep safety role.
Versatility is his true calling card on the football field.
He also elevates other players’ level of play and makes everyone around them better. His versatility directly aids the success of others. Allows others to be in more advantageous positions.
What separates Logan Ryan as a true difference-maker though, are the things you don’t see during the telecast. He’s highly regarded for his attentiveness and attention to detail during meetings, voice and leadership in the locker room, excellent practice habits, and diligence during game preparation.
If defensive captain Blake Martinez ever comes off the field- it is Logan Ryan who assumes the duty of receiving the play calls through the helmet microphone. It is uncommon for a safety to possess this role within such a complex defense.
The helmet microphone is often bestowed on the player with the highest football IQ on the defense.
That player is in a continuous chess match with the opposing quarterback. Attempting to get their team in the best possible alignment to defend against the opposition. They are also responsible for calling defensive audibles and getting everyone on the defense lined up in the appropriate places.
When Blake Martinez temporarily went out with an injury vs Seattle, it was Logan Ryan who assumed this role. Ryan filled in admirably for Martinez, as New York’s defense frustrated Russel Wilson all game long.
Why the Giants Should Resign Him:
When you think of Logan Ryan, you immediately think of an extremely intelligent player who has the versatility to play every position across the secondary.
His previously mentioned intelligence/high IQ and versatility allows for the defense to be multiple in personnel as well as alignment. Ryan’s ability to be interchangeable with Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love allows for them to disguise coverages and confuse opposing quarterbacks.
This ability to be multifaceted also allows for mismatches and confusion when blitzing as well. When the defense has multiple players who can show one thing pre-snap but then do something completely different post-snap, it causes a lot of problems for the opposing offense.
Logan Ryan has undoubtedly also had a profound effect on shortening the learning curve for Xavier McKinney. Showing the rookie second-round pick optimal ways to study film and gain an advantage in the meeting room should greatly aid McKinney in his growth and development with the mental side of the game.
The Giants will most likely have some tough decisions to make in regard to free agents this offseason. Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Logan Ryan will all be free agents at season’s end. New York currently sits 17th in the league with $21.15 million in cap space in the 2021 offseason.
That is certainly not enough to bring them all back.
They can create upwards of an additional $27-31 million in cap space by cutting/trading Levine Toilolo, Nate Solder, Golden Tate, and Kevin Zeitler depending on the dates they would do so. If the Giants make these four roster moves and have around $50 million in available cap space this offseason, they should attempt to bring all three back.
The wild card here is Logan Ryan. His age and potential price tag could cause New York to balk again should he ask for a contract longer than two to three years or over $10 mill/year. Also, the overwhelming desire to get Xavier McKinney on the field could also play a role in this as well. Luckily, the Giants often play with three safeties on the field together.
Their safeties are also all multidimensional and can play many different positions/roles in Patrick Graham’s versatility pertinent system.
There are two scenarios in which the Giants should make a multiyear commitment to Logan Ryan:
- Get him on a front-loaded three-year deal where the third year is a team option or non-guaranteed. Similarly, to the way, they structured the Bradberry and Martinez deals last offseason. They can cheaply get out of both contracts before the start of the third year.
- Get him on a guaranteed two-year deal with no third-year option or opt-out clause, but pay him slightly more annually than they would if they offered a potential third year.
As Dave Gettleman often states, “you can never have too many good players at one position”.
On a personal, fan level, the Giants should definitely try and bring him back. They can put Ryan, McKinney, Love, and Peppers on the field at the same time together or rotate them in and out depending on different packages.
They could also move Darnay Holmes back outside to the boundary where he played all his snaps at UCLA. Then you can put one of McKinney, Love, or Ryan primarily in the slot. That would allow the other three to line up all over the back end of the defense. Similar to how they often do now with their 3-safety looks.
Unfortunately, though, Logan Ryan will likely walk this offseason. He said himself that he wouldn’t give a discount to the Giants or anybody.
Giants will likely opt to go with Peppers, McKinney, and Love as their primary safety rotation. Even though he’s been a key cog for the turnaround and rebuild of this defensive unit. Quite possibly, the single most important.
Financially, it does make sense. All three are extremely talented, versatile, and young as they’re all still on rookie contracts. Logan Ryan’s 2021 salary will likely be higher than all three of them combined.
The majority of Giants fans would truly hate to see Ryan leave. But it’s the smart move considering they have Xavier McKinney to swap into his role next season. Also, paying a safety $10+ million per year who is over 30 years old is not an intelligent move for a rebuilding franchise.
Especially when they have the stable of talent the Giants possess at the safety position going into 2021.
***Logan Ryan signs a three-year deal with a 3rd-year player option for $34.5 million/ $23 million fully guaranteed.***