What might the Giants’ offensive line look like next season?
The No. 1 priority for the New York Giants this offseason will undoubtedly be solving the issues on the offensive line and finding solid replacements for Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg.
There are several options on the free agent market, but they might run the Giants more than they are willing to spend.
Let’s take a look at who might be on the starting line come September of 2018:
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1.) LT Nate Solder
The New York Giants will surely be moving on from Ereck Flowers at left tackle this offseason, and the only guy that is proven and would fit the bill in free agency is New England Patriots’ Nate Solder. Left tackles in the NFL make a killing, and good ones can run any given team upwards of $10 million per-season, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Signing Solder would put the Giants in a great position moving forward, as Eli Manning will have the protection he needs and his heir won’t have a worry from his blind-side.
Solder would cost the Giants somewhere in the $10-12 million per-season range, which is not ideal for a team trying to cut back on big contracts. But with the cap-space climbing every year, singing Solder to a long-term deal would be worth it in the end. His worth will end up being solid in a year or two when players worse than him are making $10 million on a yearly basis.
2.) LG Andrew Norwell
For the Giants to secure Carolina Panthers’ guard Andrew Norwell to a contract, they will have to offer him a solid deal. Somewhere in the $8-10 million range would likely suffice. By guaranteeing him a hefty signing-bonus they might even be able to cut that number down significantly.
Snagging both Norwell and Solder to secure the left side of the line for years to come would be a significant upgrade, and it would provide an influx of durability and quality. Norwell was previously an undrafted free agent under Dave Gettleman, so the connection is there between the star offensive lineman and Giants’ general manager. If Gettleman decides to reconnect with Norwell, you can expect to see extreme value out of this pickup.
3.) C Brett Jones
Re-signing center Brett Jones should be a priority for the Giants, as his play was valiant in 2017. Jones’ contract only allocated about $1.4 million in the final year of his rookie deal.
Plugging him in as the starter at center in 2018 would be a high-upside and value choice, as he would likely only be offered $2-4 million per-season. For that price, Jones should be re-signed yesterday.
4.) RG D.J. Fluker
Right guard D.J. Fluker performed well in 2017, showing that his first-round value is still there. Fluker believes he deserves a generous contract after his performance in 2017, but one decent year won’t get him the money he’s seeking.
We should expect to see the Giants offer him anywhere from $4-5 million per-season, which is a solid investment considering his potential.
5.) RT Desmond Harrison
West Georgia’s Desmond Harrison is a very interesting and exciting player coming out of college this year. Harrison has all of the tools to become a starting tackle in the NFL as soon as he gets scooped up in the draft. Scouts have him being taken no later than the second-round, especially considering his size (6-foot-7, 300-pounds).
Harrison was formerly at Texas University but was released due to failed drug tests (what player doesn’t smoke weed?). His potential is sky-high and it seems as if he’s solved the issues that plagued him earlier in his college career. He would be an extreme value pick for the Giants, and if they choose to trade back he could be one of the steals of the draft in the second-round.
The entire offensive line would run the Giants about $33 million dollars. That’s $13 million more than Eli Manning makes alone, so we can consider that a solid investment considering he needs the protection to succeed.