EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Logan Ryan is thrilled to be back in New Jersey, looking for an apartment for him and his pit bulls, and willing to do anything to help the New York Giants win this season.
The latter won't be a problem for the former Rutgers product who is entering his eighth NFL season.
The Giants are planning to use the defensive back in a number of roles. He is going to play cornerback, the slot in some passing situations, and even safety.
“This is a match-up league,” Ryan said Monday after practice. “This isn't 1980s football, where you run a 4-3 and there with two safeties and two corners. The game is evolving a little bit and I think the more position skills you have, it gives you the ability to do more stuff on defence .”
Ryan is playing catch-up with the Giants. A free agent most of the summer after not being re-signed by Tennessee, he was signed last week. He has spent most of his time going through the league protocols for COVID-19 testing and watching an iPad to study his new defence .
The transition should not be that difficult. He worked with head coach Joe Judge and defensive co-ordinator Pat Graham when they were assistants with the Patriots, who drafted him in the third round in 2013.
Ryan admits free agency was different the second time around. The Titans gave him a three-year, $30 million contract in 2017. This year he had to wait.
“It was good to have that little mental break," said Ryan, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract with New York. “I’ve been preparing the whole time. I put myself through my own training camp with no cameras on me. Being able to come home and play 20 minutes from Rutgers and an hour from where I grew up, it’s a dream come true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, honestly.”
The chance with the Giants opened up over time. Cornerback Sam Beal opted out of the season for health reasons. Cornerback DeAndre Baker, a starter last year, was arrested in the off-season on armed robbery charges and is on the commissioner's exempt list. Second-round draft pick Xavier McKinney, a safety, is out with a broken foot.
Enter Ryan, who says he is a team-first guy.
“I lay my body on the line for the team,” said Ryan, who said finding an apartment in northern New Jersey that allows dogs has not been easy. He is just hoping to find one soon.
Ryan also showed a sense of humour when asked if he considered asking Saquon Barkley whether the star third-year running back would be willing to give him No. 26.
Ryan, who has worn the number most of his career, said he never considered it. He took No. 23 because it was available and he did not want to take or buy anyone's number. He also knew Barkley was not going to give up No. 26.
“I don't think I got a contract sizable to pay Nike to get No. 26 from Saquon Barkley," Ryan said. "He has it right now, but he did say it was up for negotiation, so maybe a GoFundMe or something like that can raise the price enough to buy it from Saquon.”
NOTES: Judge intends to wait a few more days before saying whether Nick Gates or Spencer Pulley will start at centre . Gates is making a transition to the spot. Pulley is a veteran centre and guard. ... he Giants elected their captains but Judge did not announce them.
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press