The New York Giants seem to be making behind-the-scenes moves more frequently under head coach Joe Judge. After utilizing the rarely used free agent tender on Markus Golden, more off-season moves are still happening. The Giants have agreed to a two-year extension with offensive lineman Nick Gates, who started in three games in 2019.
Gates will have a base value of $6.825 million and could max out at $10.325 million, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL network.
The Giants are heading toward an interesting development on the offensive line after left tackle Solder opted out of the 2020 season. That puts more pressure on fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas to step in and fill his role immediately. However, some might argue that Cameron Fleming, who has plenty of experience at both left and right tackle, is the better option to fill-in on Daniel Jones’s blindside.
Head coach Joe Judge made it apparent that everybody will have to earn their position on the team, and that includes Thomas, who was a top-five pick from this year’s NFL draft. There are also position battles at both center and right tackle, where Gates will be competing.
Think about how great of a deal this is — 2 years, he has the potential to be a quality starter, and they’d have him essentially on a $5 million per year deal to lock down an OL position for 2 years AFTER 2020.
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) August 1, 2020
The former Nebraska lineman frames his blocks well in pass protection and has strong hands and flexibility. Even against stronger pass rushers, he was able to anchor down and utilizes quick feet to recover and mirror. Playing tackle is all about angles, and Gates managed to play at a decent level when substituting for Mike Remmers last year. He doesn’t have ample experience at the position, which makes him more fit for center or guard. The Giants currently have Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler, so it leaves gates with only two options.
The extension is fantastic for both parties. The Giants believe he can be a starter in the NFL at a max of $5 million per season on his new deal.