In profiling potential free-agent targets for the offensive line-starved New York Giants, I recently looked at Kansas City Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah. The Chiefs, basically, have to choose between Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz -- two starting-caliber players who occupy the same position and are both headed to the free-agent market.
Since the Chiefs more or less chose Schwartz last season, starting him instead of Asamoah down the stretch, the assumption that Kansas City would choose to keep Schwartz and let Asamoah walk seemed logical. Only that might not be the case.
Tony Pauline of Draft Insider reported recently that his sources indicate Schwartz "will likely sign elsewhere."
ESPN describes this as a "tough call" for the Chiefs. "Schwartz is the better run blocker, Asamoah the superior pass protector. That would seem to give Asamoah the edge to Andy Reid and his pass-heavy offense," writes ESPN's Adam Teicher.
What we seem to know for sure is that both players consider themselves starters. Here is Schwartz's agent, Deryk Gilmore, on Schwartz's future employment:
"Geoff Schwartz loved it in Kansas City and would love to come back in Kansas City," Deryk Gilmore said. "It’s just that he wants to be wanted, and hopefully Kansas City wants him. He’s a starter and he wants to be paid like a starter."
Could Schwartz, 28, find what he is looking for with the Giants?
Schwartz is a massive 6-foot-6, 340-pound road-grader. He 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.
If Schwartz hits the open market the Giants have to at least check the sticker-price for Schwartz. Don't they?