Should the Giants retain Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano?

New York Giants, Nick Gates
Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants center Nick Gates (65) blocks against the New England Patriots during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants rebuild their offensive line this offseason with a couple of key starters set to become free agents. Starting center Jon Feliciano and starting left guard Nick Gates will both be unrestricted free agents this offseason. The Giants will be looking to upgrade the interior of their offensive line, but they could also consider retaining Gates and Feliciano.

Should the Giants retain Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano?

The Giants signed Jon Feliciano to a one-year, $3.25 million contract last offseason. Feliciano spent the entire 2022 season starting at center and was named a Pro Bowl alternate despite a fairly inconsistent campaign. Feliciano let up four sacks and 25 pressures on the season in 15 starts.

Things could have been worse from the center position. Jon Feliciano may not have been an All-Pro level player, but he was durable and decent for the Giants, making his cheap one-year contract worth the price. But should the Giants continue with Feliciano at center in 2023?

If New York wants to go in a different direction, there are options available in free agency and Big Blue could target top center prospects in the draft. But Feliciano’s familiarity with the coaching staff and experience as a ninth-year NFL veteran may entice the Giants to retain him.

If Feliciano can be extended on another cheap, short-term deal, the Giants should consider bringing him back to compete for the position or at least provide quality depth to the interior of the offensive line.

Nick Gates is truly one of the most inspiring stories in football. After suffering a devastating injury in Week 2 of the 2021 season, Gates underwent several surgeries, nearly lost his leg, and contemplated retirement before making an unlikely return to the field in 2022.

Gates wound up starting eight games for the Giants this season, taking over as the team’s starting left guard during the second half of the season. Following his unbelievable 2022 season, Nick Gates is set to become a free agent this offseason.

The Giants signed Gates to a two-year, $6.8 million contract in 2020. With that contract expiring, the Giants must decide whether or not to retain the versatile offensive lineman. In his first year back from injury, Gates had his fair share of struggles, but only let up one sack and 10 pressures across 368 snaps during the regular season.

Nick Gates is a fan favorite and fought through unprecedented adversity to continue his playing carer with the New York Giants. While he might not be a high-end starter, Gates has proven to be a quality depth piece and a reliable starter in a pinch. The Giants should extend Gates and let him compete on the roster in 2023.

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