Logan Ryan gave up a once-in-his-lifetime moment to facilitate a union between Adoreé Jackson and the Giants.
Instead of watching his alma mater Rutgers play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983 from his offseason home in Florida, Ryan and his wife flew to New York to attend a Giants-arranged dinner-for-four Saturday with free-agent cornerback Jackson at Del Frisco’s.
Steaks, real conversation and a strong contract offer — three years, $39 million — lured Jackson.
“It was just two good friends who respect each other,” Ryan, who signed a three-year extension with the Giants in December, told The Post. “I didn’t have to sell a lot. He liked New York for New York, and most importantly for the team we have right now and the chance to win. It was his decision — and he chose New York over a lot of other places.”
Ryan joked before free agency that he would recruit for the Giants. To some, that means sending a tweet or text. A whirlwind 24-hour road trip to see his former three-year Titans teammate and answer real-estate questions is going the extra mile.
“I really want to bring a winner to New York,” Ryan said. “I know fans pay a lot of money, deal with crazy parking, to go watch us play. I want to get the best guys on the team so we have the best product. I want guys who work well together, too. It makes my job easier.”
Ryan learned a hard truth about the business of free agency in 2017 when, as a cornerback yet to move to safety, he called fellow Rutgers alum Jason McCourty for insight into the Titans as a destination. McCourty recommended it, Ryan signed and McCourty promptly was cut without hard feelings toward his replacement.
Since then, Ryan pays it forward within the player network, which is why he checked in on Jackson’s psyche as soon as he was unexpectedly cut by the Titans — before knowing the Giants were interested.
When coach Joe Judge received a “raving report” on Jackson from Ryan, the dinner plan was hatched, pending Jackson’s willingness to visit the team facility and meet the coaches.
“We talked ball, talked fit, talked life, talked old games and funny stuff,” Ryan said. “I make real bonds in this league. You have to be genuine. You can’t do it as a sales pitch. It could’ve been three other teams and it would’ve been the same dinner. I don’t come with the paper in my pocket and say, ‘Here sign this.’ It’s not a trick. I’m catching up with Adoreé.”
Jackson canceled a scheduled visit to the Eagles to sign with the Giants. A double-whammy in the NFC East and for Ryan, who grew up in Eagles territory but didn’t receive a strong offer from his hometown team as a 2020 free agent.
“A lot of things were checking the box for him,” Ryan said. “He was comfortable with the players, the scheme and his role. I was able to tell him what the expectations were going to be and he was comfortable with the challenge. I made sure I reiterated, ‘You don’t have to wait on this.’ ”
The Giants suddenly have the potential for one of the best secondaries in the NFL — led by Ryan, Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney at safety and Pro Bowler James Bradberry, Jackson and Darnay Holmes at cornerback.
“We got a special athlete who is going to give it his all,” Ryan said. “It matters to Adoreé to feel accepted and put on a good product. He’s not a guy who is going to chill after he signs a deal. He does back flips and has a great energy, and I think the fans will love him.”
The secondary has taken the lead in free-agent recruiting, as Peppers courted Kenny Golladay and Holmes chipped in with Jackson.
“You have to have a big personality to play DB. You have to be confident in who you are,” Ryan said. “I don’t think we are selling any fake goods here. We are telling every player who comes to New York: You are going to have to work for it. It’s not easy going here.”
Ryan posted a photo to Twitter from the restaurant that sent Giants fans into a frenzy. But he deferred credit to Giants coaches and the front office for identifying talent and ownership for spending to improve the roster.
“It shows the fans a lot and brings a lot of excitement,” Ryan said, “but it shows us players, they are not playing around.”