Former Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye signs with New York Giants

Mandatory Credit: Tork Mason/USA Today NETWORK-Wisconsin
Mandatory Credit: Tork Mason/USA Today NETWORK-Wisconsin /

It was always headed for another team, but former Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye has signed with the New York Giants. 

Even the faint idea the Detroit Lions were going to overhaul their cornerback depth chart this offseason meant Amani Oruwariye was going to be gone as a free agent with little or no resistance. Then when they actually did so, signing Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley and C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency, it became a lock he’d be gone.

It’s not a surprise Oruwariye remained available pretty well into free agency. On Thursday Jordan Schultz of The Score reported he has signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants.

A fifth-round pick by the Lions in 2019, Oruwariye was a bright spot in an otherwise very bad Detroit defense in 2021. He finished third in the league with six interceptions, along with 11 pass breakups. He seemed like a future centerpiece of a defense that would only get better.

But last season was an abject disaster for Oruwariye. He struggled early, perhaps due to the league emphasizing illegal contact, then he was benched the game before the bye week. He played every snap in the two games after the bye, by practical necessity, then he only played a notable amount when the situation left no other options. Over the final nine games of the season, he played just 137 defensive snaps and 78 of them came in two games (115 snaps over four games).

Amani Oruwariye needed a fresh start, and the Lions weren’t going to keep him

Whatever the reasons for his struggles last season, a hidden injury, etc., the Lions look great for not giving Oruwariye a contract extension when they easily could have last offseason. Maybe not getting a new contract followed him psychologically into last season, and he never recovered from what he perceived as a slight.

Oruwariye was only going to come back to the Lions on a cheap one-year deal, and even that was a very remote chance given that’s what his broader market would bear. This can be called a mutual parting of ways, with both sides needing something new.

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