Giants expected to pursue versatile Patriots free agent offensive lineman

New England Patriots guard Mike Onwenu (71) (New York Giants free agency target) lines up against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Gillette Stadium
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants, with an eye on bolstering their offensive line for the 2024 NFL season, are contemplating strategies that balance the development of young talent with the acquisition of seasoned professionals. The decision to invest in experienced offensive linemen could significantly impact their performance and protection schemes.

Giants’ Free Agent Target: Mike Onwenu

Mike Onwenu, formerly with the New England Patriots, emerges as a prime candidate for the Giants, thanks to his experience and the team’s financial capability to support such a move.

At 26, Onwenu’s familiarity with Carmen Bricillo, the Giants’ new offensive line coach, and his versatility make him an attractive option. Despite having played over 1,000 snaps in a season only once during his tenure with New England, Onwenu’s performance, particularly at right tackle, has demonstrated his potential to solidify the Giants’ line. His 2023 season saw him on the field for 656 snaps at right tackle, during which he surrendered only 23 total pressures and three sacks, showcasing his capacity to contribute significantly.

Shifting Evan Neal

The addition of Onwenu could facilitate a strategic shift for Evan Neal, moving him from the tackle position to the interior line. After two seasons that didn’t meet expectations, this adjustment could enable Neal to maximize his strengths in a new role, potentially revitalizing his career and reinforcing the Giants’ offensive line. Onwenu’s potential full-time assignment to right tackle could provide stability and reliability to a position that has seen fluctuating performances.

READ MORE: Giants trade down, collect three additional picks in latest 2024 NFL mock draft

Exploring Alternatives: Jermaine Eluemunor

While Onwenu presents a compelling case, the Giants are also considering Jermaine Eluemunor, a free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders, as a viable alternative. Eluemunor’s recent history with Bricillo and his emergence as a dependable option in free agency could offer the Giants a quality, and perhaps more affordable, solution to their offensive line challenges.

As free agency approaches, the Giants are among several teams reportedly interested in Onwenu, with competition expected from the Jets, Chargers, Bengals, and Jaguars, per uSTADIUM. The decision to pursue a versatile and experienced lineman like Onwenu or Eluemunor reflects the Giants’ commitment to enhancing their offensive capabilities and providing better protection for their quarterback in the upcoming season.

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