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Analysis: Chris Snee return OK, if Giants handle it properly

Veteran offensive lineman Chris Snee reportedly wants to play one more season for the Giants.

Chris Snee
Chris Snee

Chris Snee wants to play one more season, and according to a report Wednesday in the New York Post, it sounds like Snee expects the New York Giants to give him that opportunity.

"If there was no interest from their point of view I’d probably say thanks for everything and call it a career,’’ Snee told The Post Wednesday. "At this point it’s not about money for me. I’m a Giant, I couldn’t imagine myself playing for any other organization.’’

Snee, a 32-year-old four-time Pro Bowler guard, broke down physically in 2013 and played only three games. He underwent surgery following the 2012 season for a torn labrum in his left hip. Last season, he tore the labrum in his right hip and had that surgically repaired. The Post also reported that Snee underwent "extensive surgery" on his right elbow last November.

Snee believes he can make it back -- if not to Pro Bowl form at least to the point where he can "compare well to most of the guards in the league."

"That’s exactly my mind-set right now,’’ Snee said. "If it’s different come mini-camp in June and I’m struggling to get up off a stool, I’ll be the first to let the Giants know. I love this team, I love everything about being a Giant and I want to help the team as much as I can. For me to come back lets you believe I think I can help.’’

Snee carries a $7.2 million base salary and $11.75 million cap number into the 2014 season -- far too much money to pay a player whose whose availability and effectiveness will be a huge question mark if the Giants do bring him back. Snee told the Post he is willing to take a pay cut and is "not worried about if the deal will get done but when.’’

GM Jerry Reese sounded uncertain about Snee's future when he spoke recently at the NFL Combine:

"Is he going to be healthy, that's the number one thing. He's got a big contract, that's an issue as well. All that will get hashed out when we figure out if he's going to be healthy enough. He definitely wants to play. He's had significant injuries and he's not a baby at this point in his career, so that always factors in."

Valentine's View

I have been clear in my stance that I believe the best thing for the Giants to do is move on without Snee. Here is what I wrote just a few days ago:

If Snee wants to play the best thing for the Giants would be for Coughlin to write him a nice letter of recommendation and help him get a job -- somewhere else.

I will stand by that. I do understand the willingness to give Snee an opportunity. He played well in 2012, earning a +12.8 grade from Pro Football Focus and allowing just two sacks, before falling apart physically last season. If he can come back and play somewhere close to his 2012 form that is a huge help to the Giants.

Relying on Snee is also a huge risk, however. The Giants would be well advised to proceed through the offseason as though Snee's presence will be a bonus, much the same way they have said they will not count on running back David Wilson being available.

If the Giants are going to give Snee an opportunity that has to mean the death knell for David Baas' time as a Giant. Baas had been riddled with injuries during his three seasons with New York, and the Giants simply can't enter another season with two physical question marks in the middle of their offensive line.

After that the Giants still need to bring in at least one veteran interior lineman -- like Jon Asamoah of the Kansas City Chiefs or Rodger Saffold of the St. Louis Rams -- via free agency, and would be making a mistake not to address the future of their line at some point in the first three rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.

If Snee is willing to take a big enough pay cut to make it financially viable for the Giants to give him a chance that's fine. They simply have to put a better Plan B in place than they had a season ago.