With the 2023 NFL draft concluded and the New York Giants acquiring several high-upside talents, it is time to shift our attention to some established players facing impending contract extensions.
Undoubtedly, the Giants would like to retain star left tackle Andrew Thomas for at least the next few years. At just 24 years old, Thomas has evolved into one of the best tackles in football, achieving career-high grades in 2022, his third season as a professional.
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The New York Giants have an easy decision to make with Andrew Thomas:
Tuesday marks the deadline for the Giants to exercise his fifth-year option, which should be a straightforward decision as they continue to discuss a potential extension beyond the 2023 season. Since Thomas has not yet earned a Pro Bowl appearance, his fifth-year option will be determined by playing time.
Thomas will receive $14.175 million for the 2023 season before any extension takes effect. He will likely earn upwards of $20 million per year on a new deal, so the Giants are not eager to initiate those talks just yet, primarily because they are still engaged in negotiations with Saquon Barkley and Dexter Lawrence.
General Manager Joe Schoen revealed that talks with Dexter’s agents have been positive, but they have reached a standstill with Barkley, who is seeking more guaranteed money and protection. It seems the Giants are unwilling to heavily invest in the running back position.
Schoen did indicate recently that they would resume talks with Saquon’s agents after applying the $10.1 million franchise tag on the star offensive playmaker. They offered him $12 million per season last year at the trade deadline, but he chose to wait until the end of the campaign in hopes of securing a more lucrative deal. Barkley has declined to sign the tag, but he may have no choice if the two sides cannot reach a compromise.
Regrettably for Barkley, the running back market has stagnated, and teams are allocating draft capital rather than financial resources to the position. Given that Miles Sanders, a solid running back, secured a deal paying him merely $6 million per year, it is difficult to justify Saquon earning more than $12 million per season.
Nonetheless, when it comes to the left tackle position, Thomas is worth every penny, having played over 1,100 snaps last year for the first time in his career. Considering the Giants’ previous weaknesses in their offensive line, letting one of their best players leave would be imprudent.
Expect Schoen to exercise Andrew’s fifth-year option without hesitation and, ideally, finalize a contract extension at some point during the 2023 season.