Logan Ryan received $31 million worth of a Merry Christmas from the Giants.
Ryan announced on Twitter that he signed a three-year extension on Christmas morning, and the deal is worth $31 million with $20 million guaranteed, as first reported by NFL Network.
After a disappointing spin through free agency last offseason, Ryan, 29, didn’t even have to test the waters again. He settled for a below-market-value one-year, $5 million contract just before the regular season after going unsigned through training camp.
But patience turned out to be the right move.
The New Jersey native and Rutgers product became indispensable in the perfect situation, switching from cornerback – where he played four seasons for the New England Patriots and three for the Tennessee Titans – to safety. Months of negotiations with the Giants heated up after Ryan changed agents and Giants rookie second-round pick Xavier McKinney underwent foot surgery.
Ryan, who had a prior relationship with coach Joe Judge from New England, quickly established himself as the vocal leader of a defense that included other higher-priced free-agent additions (Blake Martinez and James Bradberry) and a franchise face that ownership can trust in the spotlight. He has three forced fumbles and an interception as Pro Football Focus’ No. 34-ranked safety.
Asked recently if he would be interested in re-signing, Ryan said, “Definitely. I’m Jersey made. It’s been a blessing for me to be here. A lot of things had to happen for me personally in free agency for this situation to come up. I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time.”
Ryan’s $20 million guaranteed is the ninth-most among safeties, according to overthecap.com. The contract matches up similarly to the deal he signed with the Titans (three years, $30 million) as a free agent in 2017.
So, the Giants will move forward with the versatility of rotating safeties Jabrill Peppers (signed through 2021), Ryan and McKinney through the slot, box and deep part of the field. The secondary has been the key to the Giants’ overachieving defense, led by Ryan’s ability to allow coordinator Patrick Graham to creatively disguise pre-snap looks.
The contract also could be a sign of security for Dave Gettleman given it would be NFL malpractice for a general manager in danger of being fired to be making long-term decisions on free agents two weeks before the end of the season.
Gettleman entered the season on the hot seat and the Giants’ four-game winning streak after a 1-7 start allowed them to play meaningful games in December, fulfilling John Mara’s stated season goal. Assistant general manager Kevin Abrams is heavily involved in managing the salary cap and negotiating contracts.
How will Ryan’s contract impact the rest of the offseason?
The Giants are projected to have about $10.8 million of space if the COVID-19-impacted NFL salary cap falls to $176 million per team. Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson will be looking for big multi-year contracts, and the Giants desperately need upgrades at wide receiver and pass-rusher.