The New York Giants have been making moves on the offensive line lately, and the latest of those is bringing back center Jon Halapio for another season. Halapio was the one that won the starting job at the position last season and resulted in the trade of Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings, which fans would late regret once the season was underway.
Not because of poor performances from Halapio, but because Halapio suffered a season-ending leg injury very early in the season and the Giants were forced to make a change on the offensive line early on, hurting the blocking play.
Halapio was an exclusive rights free agent and is signing a new deal at the same time that the Giants are acquiring a new talent to play next to him, former Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler, who is 6’4″ and definitely looks the part as a physically imposing addition to an offensive line that desperately needs to improve if the team is going to have a turnaround season, was acquired in exchange for pass rusher Olivier Vernon, and will save the Giants a bit of money with the salary cap.
It’s easy to see Halapio taking back the starting job over Spencer Pulley, who started nine games last season after being claimed from waivers, and in that case he would likely be playing next to second year guard Will Hernandez and new addition Kevin Zeitler. With the Giants making a trade for a guard, it seems that last season’s trade acquisition at the position, Jamon Brown, is the odd one out and will walk in free agency rather than getting a new deal.
Time will tell if the offensive line improves. But things are shaping up well, and the Giants are getting back someone who should be at least a minor upgrade from last season’s starters at the position.