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Janoris Jenkins: Keep defense together and we’ll make something happen

New Orleans Saints v New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Janoris Jenkins #20 of the New York Giants celebrates his 65-yard touchdown with teammate Devon Kennard #59 during second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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The Giants spent last offseason throwing money at the top defensive players in free agency in a bid to turn around a unit that had struggled for several years.

It worked as the defense spurred a trip to the playoffs after a four-year absence and now one of the players signed in last year’s spree is counseling a different approach to free agency. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins wants the team to take care of it’s own by re-signing free agents Jason Pierre-Paul and Jonathan Hankins while finding a way to keep cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on hand.

“You know, you build a defense, you got the pieces, why would you separate them right then when they’re at the peak or about to be the peak and the prime of the organization,” Jenkins said, via Art Stapleton of “Keep everybody together. That’s why teams don’t ever go back to back. Or back to back to back. Free agency and trades. But keep us together and we’ll make something happen. ... Hopefully we bring everybody back along with DRC and JPP. I’m rooting for those guys. They’ll be back. Yeah, they’ll be back. We just have to come out and bring it.”

The Giants retained Pierre-Paul on a one-year deal last year, but that’s not likely to work this offseason unless they use the franchise tag. He had seven sacks in 12 games before undergoing sports hernia surgery that ended his season.

Rodgers-Cromartie has a $9 million cap number, but played well last season and the Giants would have $4 million in dead space on their cap if they were to part ways with him this offseason. More cap relief would come from parting ways with wide receiver Victor Cruz, should the Giants be looking for more ways to keep their defense intact.