The New York Giants have apparently made their first big strike of 2014 NFL Free Agency, agreeing to terms guard Geoff Schwartz.
Source familiar with negotiations: NYG & G Geoff Schwartz have agreed to terms. Expected to sign tomorrow. He can also play tackle.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 11, 2014
Schwartz confirmed via his Twitter account that he will join the Giants.
Otw to the Big Apple tonight! Can't wait to officially sign w/the @Giants tomorrow! So pumped.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) March 11, 2014
Schwartz, 6-foot-6, 340 pounds, is a five-year veteran who spent last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Previously, he spent three seasons with the Carolina Panthers and one with the Minnesota Vikings. Schwartz has a reputation as a road-grading run-blocker.
Schwartz scored a +18.9 from Pro Football Focus in 549 snaps last season, best of any free-agent guard, and PFF is effusive in its praise of the five-year veteran:
While there are no ’big name’ guards hitting free agency, Schwartz has played as well as any not named Evan Mathis on a per-snap basis the last two years. The Oregon product has an overall grade of +24.1 in 792 snaps (full season is typically 1000+ snaps) since he missed the whole 2011 season with a hip injury.
While he had a superb year in pass protection with a pass blocking efficiency of 97.3 (ranked 11th), Schwartz’ calling card is his run blocking. He has elite power at the point of attack, but he also rarely gets beat cleanly. He had the sixth-lowest percentage of run snaps that took a downgrade among all guards. At 28 years old, Schwartz looks to be the prize of this year’s free agent guard class.
Here is an immediate reaction from PFF to the signing:
Rotoworld also rated Schwartz the best free-agent guard.
The Giants, of course, desperately need help on their offensive line. They allowed Eli Manning to be sacked a career-worst 39 times in 2013 and injuries exposed the lack of depth along the line. Re-stocking that group has been stated as a priority ever since the end of the season, and this is an excellent step in that direction.
With Chris Snee returning to the Giants next season, Schwartz, 28 next season, can be expected to play left guard for New York.
Do you approve of this move, Giants' fans?