When free agency officially opened on Tuesday, the biggest signing the New York Giants made was nabbing Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz to a four-year deal worth $16.8 million with $6.2 million guaranteed.
The 6-foot-6, 340-pound offensive lineman comes in and expects to be the starter at left guard for a team that had struggled all of 2013 to not only protect the quarterback but also run the ball with efficiency. He was certainly excited about the prospect of coming to the team:
"When I was a rookie, I almost didn’t get drafted and I was so excited to maybe become a Giant," said Schwartz, who played last season for the Kansas City Chiefs. "Now, it finally happened. It’s one of those franchises where, when they come calling, you can’t really say no. I’m overjoyed. I think when I look back after I kind of get over the initial signing of the contract it’ll be such a pleasure."
Schwartz expects to start at left guard because he'll defer to Chris Snee at right guard, but he stated that while he feels comfortable at either guard spot, he has the ability to play tackle as well. Indeed, the former Kansas City Chief played 4 spots along that front.
Pro Football Focus loves the deal for the New York Giants, and they wrote this about the deal:
The Giants have needed to address their offensive line for a few years now and they wrapped up Schwartz very quickly yesterday. A good move only looks better now that the numbers are out with Schwartz due $4.2 million per year over four years. Schwartz has the versatility to play right guard and tackle opening up a number of potential lineups options for he and Justin Pugh and he brings quality to both spots. His strong suit is at right guard however where his +15.2 overall grade placed him among our Top 10 guards on less than 500 snaps this season. Finally seeing extended action for the first time since 2010 the Giants have bought (relatively) low and if he can extend that form have a top notch guard for far less than teams have paid for those in recent years.
I personally believe that this combination of value and need makes this move by Jerry Reese one of the best made by any team in this year's off season. Reese got likely the best guard on the free agent market for less than what his backup Jon Asamoah will make in annual salary per year with the Atlanta Falcons.
With teams like the Washington Redskins dishing out 4 year, $17 million contracts to guard Shawn Lauvao and the Oakland Raiders giving tackle Austin Howard 5 years, $30 million with $15 million guaranteed, its hard not to take a step back and marvel at what the Giants have been able to accomplish.
Schwartz for the time being, will enjoy a week where he finally lands a permanent home after spending time with the Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as getting married. Talk about a busy schedule. Still has time for this, though:
If time permits, I think tomorrow calls for an authentic NYC Matzah Ball soup for celebration.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) March 11, 2014
While further steps need to be taken, the Giants will gladly take the versatility and sheer power that the 28 year old Schwartz brings to bolster the line and provide some stability inside, and I just know that Giant fans will be cheering on this move. Somewhere out there, Eli Manning, David Wilson, and Rashad Jennings are happy campers. I know I am.