The New York Giants have one of the worst pass-blocking offensive lines in football, ranking 31st, just one spot ahead of the Miami Dolphins. After years of poor drafting and resource allocation, general manager Dave Gettleman is preparing to walk the plank at season’s end, a reality that most fans have been waiting for for quite some time.
When the Giants originally hired Gettleman, he was praised for his mid-round drafting capabilities in the trenches, but it seems as if his scouting department in Carolina mightâ€™ve been the catalyst and not the GM himself. Ever since joining Big Blue, his inconsistencies and misses on the OL have been apparent.
The Giants have ranked near dead last in pass-blocking in the past two consecutive seasons, showcasing a fundamental issue in the front office. That is why reports have indicated Gettlemanâ€˜s departure after the 2021 campaign. In addition, it is no surprise that the drafting has gotten significantly better once head coach Joe Judge joined the team, as the Giants managed to land Andrew Thomas in the first round in 2020. Gettleman had never spent a first-round pick on an offensive lineman before Thomas, showing the impact that Judge had on the team’s strategy.
However, when looking at how poor the unit has performed this season, things are only preparing to get worse during the off-season, as the Giants have minimal salary cap to work with.
Offensive linemen under contract:
Offensive linemen preparing to leave:
Ultimately, the Giants will go into the off-season needing replacements at left guard, right guard, right tackle, and potentially center if Nick Gates is unable to make a full recovery.
Next off-season, the Giants currently have $3.5 million available to spend, considering they have massive contracts coming to a peak with Leonard Williams, James Bradberry, Sterling Shepard, Adoree Jackson, and Blake Martinez. All of those deals combined approach $100 million for just a few players when the depth on the team is incredibly inconsistent.
With minimal salary to spend, the Giants will have to rely on the 2022 NFL draft to plug multiple spots. The hope is that Lemieux can make a return and perform at an average level, but expecting rookies and young players to take over starting gigs without any experience is always a risk. As the Giants head into the final guaranteed year of Daniel Jones’s contract, decisions must be made on his 5th-year option, which will likely be a collaborative decision involving Judge and a new GM.
Gettleman’s parting gift will be an awful salary situation and a few individual talents but has left the trenches a mess, overly investing in interior defensive lineman and running backs when the team has far more pressing needs.