As we continue our position-by-position breakdown of the New York Giants we move to the offensive line, the failures of which nearly everyone points to as the major reason the Giants flopped in 2013.
Horrible. Putrid. Awful. Atrocious. Abominable. Horrendous. Pitiful. Dreadful. Odious. Appalling. Use whatever word you like to describe the performance of the offensive line in 2013. They all apply. Issues on the offensive line were the single biggest reason the 2013 season imploded, and why the offensive coaching staff is undergoing an overhaul. Pro Football ranked the Giants' offensive line 29th. It is honestly hard to believe there were three worse groups in the league.
Will Beatty -- We have been over the fact that Beatty was a disaster in 2013, but this post requires us to go over the gory details again. in the first year of a rich five-year, $37.5-million contract Beatty played nothing like the top-tier lineman who earned that deal with a stellar 2012 performance. He was terrible, which is the only kind -- and clean -- way to put it. Rather protect Eli Manning's blind side, Beatty got him blind-sided all season. He gave up 13 of the 39 sacks the Giants allowed, along with 46 other pressures. Of 76 offensive tackles who played at least 25 percent of their team's snaps, Beatty (-14.3) ranked 71st in pass protection.
Can Beatty, who broke his leg in the season final rebound? Do the Giants need to move Justin Pugh to left tackle, or draft a new one? They can't cut Beatty -- he is still owed too much guaranteed money. Whether they rely on him to handle the critical left tackle slot in 2014 remains to be seen. Contract Status: Entering Year 2 of five-year, $37.5-million contract. Still appears to have more than $15 million in guaranteed money coming from the Giants.
Kevin Boothe -- A serviceable veteran at both guard and center, Boothe played both spots in 2013. With the weekly chaos around him, players seemingly changing on a weekly basis, it is tough to evaluate Boothe's performance. Is he part of the problem, or part of the solution? Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
James Brewer -- Finally got an extended opportunity to play during his third season, and the results were decidedly mixed. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Brewer has the physical skills, but missed too many assignments. He graded at -8.9 according to PFF, third-worst on the offense. As the Giants re-structure their line it seems doubtful Brewer will be a piece they count on. Contract Status: Final year of four-year, $2.477-million contract.
David Baas -- The veteran center played only three games before landing on IR with a season-ending knee injury. Most likely, Baas will be a salary cap casualty. Contract Status: Entering fourth year of five-year, $27.5-million deal. The Giants would appear to save only $1.775-million of his $8.225-million salary by cutting him in 2014. They would save $5.25-million vs. the cap in 2015. Best guess is they move on without Baas.
Jim Cordle -- Cordle is a try-hard player who started seven games after Baas went down. He ended up suffering a season-ending knee injury of his own. It's easy to see the Giants inviting Cordle to camp to compete for a role as a backup, but that's all. Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent
Chris Snee -- After a difficult 2012 Snee underwent offseason hip surgery to try and play in 2013. Sadly, his other hip gave out and he was forced to IR. The 10-year veteran faces an uncertain future? Will be healthy enough to play? Does he still have the ability to play? Do the Giants want to bank on finding out? The Giants probably move on without him. Contract Status: Entering final year of six-year, $42.5-million contract. The final season is a player option worth $11.75-million, which included $4.5-million in dead money.
David Diehl -- Gave the Giants everything he had over 11 seasons. It was obvious over the last couple, however, that what he had left didn't appear to be enough anymore. He is expected to retire. Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon Mosley -- Missed his rookie season while on IR. Fans clamored to see him get an opportunity this season. When he finally did in Week 16, he broke his hand. So, we still have no real read on whether or not Mosley can be part of a revamped line. If I had to guess I'd say he opens 2014 as a reserve. Contract Status: Entering third year of four-year, $2.4-million contract.
Justin Pugh [USA Today Sports]
Justin Pugh -- Started every game at right tackle and earned a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Pugh is the one lineman who played well in 2013, and the only one assured of a spot on the 2014 line. What spot that will be remains a mystery, probably until after free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft. Contract Status: Entering second year of four-year, $8.345-million deal.
NOTE: There really is little to say about Dallas Reynolds, Stephen Goodin or Eric Herman. Thus, we won't go there.
NFL Draft/Free Agency
The Giants can be expected to be aggressive in both free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft when it comes to fixing the line. The failings of that group in 2013 dragged the offense down and left Manning a shell of himself. Who they target in free agency remains to be seen, but perhaps a veteran center to replace Baas would be a good place to start. It just so happens that Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith, 27, is hitting free agency this offseason, so he would be a name to watch. Dietrich-Smith received a +12.1 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2013. We will also have plenty of time over the next few months to debate and dissect a variety of draft-eligible lineman the Giants might consider.