Joe Schoen made his first acquisition on the offensive line for the New York Giants today. The Giants’ new general manager is taking a chance on a low-risk, high-reward offensive tackle from the Atlanta Falcon who could compete for starting reps. Matt Gono and the Giants have agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Gono will be, at the very least, a quality depth piece on the Giants’ paper-thin offensive line. But the young tackle has the upside to turn himself into a potential starter with Big Blue.
What does Matt Gono bring to the Giants?
Matt Gono has been in the NFL since 2018 after he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. He was with the Falcons from 2018 to 2021. Atlanta had plans for Gono, but injuries got in the way of the offensive lineman’s Falcons future. The Falcons placed a second-round tender on Matt Gono last offseason, but he spent all of 2021 on the PUP list (neck injury). This caused the $3.3M tender to toll over to 2022. The Falcons had a choice to pay Gono the toll or release him and clear that cap space. They opted to clear cap space, thus making Gono the free agent that the Giants have now added to their 2022 roster.
The New York Giants are signing an offensive lineman with guard and tackle flexibility. Matt Gono moved along Atlanta’s offensive line in limited playing time. In 2020, Matt Gono played 336 offensive snaps. He played 232 snaps at right tackle, 68 at left guard, and 9 at left tackle. He also played 36 snaps at right guard in 2019, meaning Gono has played four of the five offensive line positions at one point or another in his NFL career.
In that 2020 season that saw Gono on the field over 300 times, the versatile lineman allowed only one sack. Matt Gono has appeared in 21 total career games, starting four for the Falcons. His playing time has been limited due to injuries and inexperience, but Matt Gono has upside that the Giants are wise to take a chance on considering the dire state of their offensive line.
Matt Gono is now healthy and ready to compete in the 2022 season. Joe Schoen pointed out at last week’s NFL Scouting Combine that the Giants’ roster featured only five healthy offensive linemen. Adding depth was a great necessity for the Giants and the signing of Matt Gono will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.