New York Giants: 2 free agent offensive tackles to protect Daniel Jones

New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Jack Conklin

The demise of left tackle Nate Solder and inadequacy of Mike Remmers has put the New York Giants in tumultuous position going into free agency. Solder’s contract doesn’t allow him to be cut without counting $13 million in dead cap. If the Giants retain him, he will count $19.5 million against the cap, so they would only save $6.5 million if cut. They’re better of keeping him on the roster and hoping new head coach Joe Judge can turn his play around.

However, the right tackle position needs to be upgraded.

Here are two options the New York Giants should consider:

1.) Anthony Castonzo

If GM Dave Gettleman dares to move Solder over to the right tackle position, he could go after Anthony Castonzo, who ranks as one of the best left tackles in the NFL.

Here’s how PFF breaks down the potential target (mind you, this was a Jets tailored assessment):

“Anthony Castonzo has been one of the best left tackles in the NFL for quite some time now, and if the New York Jets are going to pay any left tackle, it needs to be him. Kelvin Beachum, their 2019 starting left tackle, was the Jets’ highest-graded lineman but didn’t sniff the play of Castonzo, who was the third highest-graded left tackle in 2019. And since 2012, his lowest grade in a season is a solid 76.9.”

Fitting the former Indianapolis Colt into the offensive front would give Jones ample protection form his blind-side, but it would cost the Giants a pretty penny. I anticipate Castonzo earning upwards of $17 million per season, and while the New York Giants have the cap-space, they might be better off locking down a young talent in the draft to fill the spot on a much cheaper deal.

2.) Jack Conklin

In the scenario that Solder remains at left tackle, Conklin is an exciting free agent that could fill the void Remmers will inevitably leave behind. With Jones being sacked 38 times in his rookie season in 12 games, upgrading this spot is a matter of who and not when.

Conklin represents a reliable player with playoffs experience, but he has struggled in the past with his consistency. The Titans rejected his 5th-year option and allowed him to walk into free agency, which should be an indication of his abilities on their offensive front. He’s a better option like Remmers, but the Giants shouldn’t overpay for his services.

As per overthecap.com, Conklin projects to earn a $70 million deal with $43 million guaranteed in free agency. That’s a hefty sum, but the Giants have the ammo to get it done.

PFF says:

Conklin is the best right tackle on the market, and he’s coming off a regular season which he finished 12th overall among tackles in PFF grade (78.3) and fifth in run-blocking grade (81.0). Conklin has some issues in pass protection, as his pass-blocking grade ranks just 49th on true pass sets over the last two seasons, and he’s on the higher end among offensive tackles receiving help (double teams, chip blocks, etc). Still, Conklin is a versatile run blocker who finished with the No. 6 grade on zone runs and the No. 14 mark on gap runs. He’s been one of the better right tackles in the league since being drafted in the first round in 2016.

In 2019, Conklin recorded the highest run-block grade of his career, the fifth-highest among right tackles. Overall, he was among the 10 best offensive tackles in PFF grade. His pass-protection wasn’t the best as he sat right at the 50th percentile among offensive tackles in PFF grade on true pass sets, but Conklin constantly made holes for [Derrick] Henry and the Titans running game. His positively graded run-block percentage was at the 91st percentile and his zone-blocking grade was at the 94th.

How the New York Giants can shake up the offensive line this offseason

New York Giants, Nate Solder, Jon Halapio, Mike Remmers

The New York Giants must prioritize several positions this offseason, especially with $80+ million in cap space and valuable draft capital. New head coach Joe Judge made it apparent that he will seek tough, disciplined players who go 100% on every play, even if they’re down by 30 points.

Finding mentally tough players isn’t an easy task in the NFL when your franchise has been scolded by a lack of effort and negative criticism for years on end. However, the Giants have an opportunity to re-write their legacy in the coming months, and it starts with protecting their franchise quarterback, Daniel Jones.

Jones, who endured his first season in the NFL in 2019, suffered at the likes of LT Nate Solder and center Jon Halapio (38 sacks in 12 games started). Both LG Will Hernandez and RT Mike Remmers struggled in their own ways, primarily due to a lack of cohesion on the line. Offensive line coach Hal Hunter did a poor job developing their chemistry and allowing them to play to the best of their ability. Judge will be on the lookout for a new OL coach, preferably Bill Callahan.

The journey forward will undoubtedly include the injection of better talent on the line. The draft offers ample options in the first two rounds, especially Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Tristan Wirfs. All three would cost GM Dave Gettleman a first-round selection, but it could also open up the idea of trading back and collecting more draft capital to use later on.

With the trading of Leonard Williams last season, Gettleman forfeited a third-round selection. If he elects to let him walk in free agency, he will recoup the pick through the compensatory algorithm. However, it will be a later third-round pick than the earlier selection he forfeited for Williams. This opens the door for trading back and adding value in the second round. With several quarterback hungry teams sitting being Big Blue, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Who can the New York Giants target in free agency?

Pending free agents include Jack Conklin, Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Castonzo, Bryan Baluga, and more. This offseason holds plenty of tackle targets for the Giants, but it boils down to price and need. Are the Giants keen on bringing on a cheap player via the draft, or are they confident in reserve OL Nick Gates?

One way or another, Gettleman will bring in an offensive lineman, the method he uses is the big question.

 

 

New York Giants news, 11/20 – Giants could pursue top offensive tackle in free agency

Should the New York Giants pursue Anthony Castonzo in free agency?

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants signed former left tackle for the New England Patriots, Nate Solder, to a record-breaking deal in 2018 to sure up Eli Manning’s blind-side. While Solder adapted half-way through the season, he struggled to maintain consistency. During rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ inaugural campaign, Solder has been abysmal.

Solder currently sits with a 67.6 grade, per PFF. He has allowed eight total sacks, which is the second-highest number in the NFL. Considering his mammoth contract, the Giants aren’t getting the value they expected out of the Super Bowl-winning tackle.

That reality could force them to look elsewhere in free agency if they elect not to draft a player like Andrew Thomas in the upcoming NFL Draft. One stellar option in free agency, given the Indianapolis Colts, don’t re-sign him, is Anthony Castonzo.

Castonzo has played with the Colts for five seasons, and they will undoubtedly be looking to bring him back, considering the difficulty of finding a top-notch tackle in the NFL. On the off-chance they let him walk, the New York Giants should be buyers, as he’s earned an 82.1 grade on the year and has allowed just three sacks over 700 snaps. Solder has allowed eight in 624 snaps.

What would the Giants do with Solder?

If Big Blue secured the services of Castonzo, they would likely move Solder over to right tackle, which would give him more of an advantage given it’s Jones’ vision-side. Alternatively, the Giants do have an out in his contract after two-years. Essentially it’s a two-year deal worth $35 million with $13 million in dead cap. If the Giants let him go, they would save only $6.5 million in cap space, which is minimal. They’re better off moving him to the right side and plugging Castonzo in at left tackle.

This would give the Giants a much better offensive front: Anthony Castonzo, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio (?), Kevin Zeitler, Nate Solder.

Nonetheless–

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