We know that much of the New York Giants' offseason focus will be finding offensive linemen to upgrade last season's woeful unit. We also know that the Giants love versatile linemen with the ability to play multiple positions.
What does GM Jerry Reese want in his team's offensive linemen?
"We just want some big, nasty guys up front who can keep our quarterback upright," Reese said Saturday at the NFL Combine. "We always look for versatile guys for our offensive line, the more you can do the better you are for us."
Could free-agent Rodger Saffold fill the bill? Saffold, 26 next season, played every position on the offensive line other than center for the St. Louis Rams in 2013. He started games at both tackle spots and at right guard.
Saffold received a +6.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2013. He did not allow a sack in 557 snaps played, covering 12 games and nine starts. Saffold played six games at guard, the first such games of his four-year NFL career in 2013. He received a PFF score of +9.4 for those six games. At tackle in 2012, he played 10 games, surrendered two sacks in 621 snaps, and received a PFF grade of +8.6.
Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation's Rams web site, Turf Show Times, indicates that Saffold might come at a reasonable price:
The thing teams have to figure out is how much money Saffold is looking for. Andy Levitre, the top catch among guards in free agency last year, got a six-year, $46 million deal with $13 million guaranteed, from the Titans last year. He also had never missed a game in his career and was well established as a guard. Saffold played well at guard last year, but in limited duty. He hasn't played a 16-game season since his rookie year in 2010.
Saffold's value will be helped by his ability to play tackle, on both sides, at a league-average level or better. But teams will be cautious about giving him top OL money because of his health. Then again, all it takes is one team to set a high price.
Rams' coach Jeff Fisher said at the NFL Combine that Saffold is "going to be an outstanding guard in this league."
If he slips away from St. Louis could the 6-foot-5, 318-pound Saffold be a player who could help the Giants? He was a three-year starter at left tackle for St. Louis. The Giants would likely look at him as a guard, but with three-plus seasons of starting experience at left tackle he could provide insurance in the event Will Beatty (broken leg) is not ready to start the 2014 season.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?