We have spent some time this offseason speculating about the future, or lack thereof, that 2014 starting center J.D. Walton may or may not have with the New York Giants. What we learned on Thursday can only add to the idea that Walton could be an ex-Giant before the 2015 season begins.
During his Thursday press conference from the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said that 2014 second-round draft pick Weston Richburg is a center and "will have every opportunity to compete" for the starting center spot in the upcoming season.
We also learned on Thursday that the Giants have re-signed restricted free agent Dallas Reynolds, a reserve center/guard who has played in 18 games for the Giants over the past two seasons. Reynolds started 14 games at center for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.
Last week the Giants also signed Brett Jones, the top lineman in the Canadian Football League in 2014. Jones is primarily a center.
None of that can be good news for Walton, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract ($2.5 million guaranteed) with the Giants prior to the 2014 season. Per Over the Cap, the Giants can save $3 million against the salary cap by cutting Walton.
The 27-year-old Walton started all 16 games for the Giants last season after missing most of the previous two seasons due to a serious ankle injury. Walton received the lowest score of any Giants offensive player from Pro Football Focus, a -19.6.
With the Giants still needing to upgrade their offensive line moving Richburg to center, the position he was drafted to play, is a natural move.
There is a possibility the Giants could bring Walton back, most likely on a re-structured, less expensive contract. The problem however, is that Walton has never played a position other than guard, and positional flexibility would seem essential for players in reserve roles.