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New York Giants position review: How much work is needed on the offensive line?

The Giants have some pieces. They also have decisions to make.

Weston Richburg
Weston Richburg
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the New York Giants have been chasing stability on their offensive line for several years now. They got closer to that goal in 2015, but did not fully achieve. Let's look at how the line played in 2015 and what still needs to be done.

2015 in review

Things didn't work out the way the Giants had planned. When they made Ereck Flowers their first-round pick they expected him to play right tackle, with veteran Will Beatty on the left. Then, Beatty tore a pectoral muscle and things changed. Flowers was forced to left tackle and Marshall Newhouse was forced into the lineup. Neither move was in the Giants' best short-term interest. Right guard Geoff Schwartz finished another season on IR.

On the positive side, Weston Richburg emerged as one of the league's best center and Justin Pugh had  solid season. Pugh transitioned to left guard, but also played some at both tackles as an emergency fill-in.

Is this a position of need?

Yes, sadly it still is. General manager Jerry Reese had hoped that drafting Flowers would finish the reconstruction of the line, but that won't be the case. Flowers, Pugh, and Richburg provide building blocks for the future -- especially if Flowers develops as the Giants anticipate. Elsewhere, though, there are plenty of decisions to make.

What about Schwartz and Beatty?

Schwartz has given the Giants 13 games over two years after signing a four-year, $16.8 million contract. He's a good player, but after a broken ankle and fractured leg will the Giants keep him? Will they ask him to take a pay cut? His base salary the next two seasons is $3.935 million annually. They could save roughly $3 million against the salary cap by cutting him.

Beatty is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $37.5 million deal. All of the guaranteed $18 million has been paid. He is due $9.175 million in salary and bonuses in 2016, and there is almost no chance the Giants pay him that much money. Will he accept a pay cut, and what seems like an almost certain move to right tackle? Or, will he hit the free-agent market and look for both a left tackle job and left tackle paycheck?

Can young guys like Bobby Hart or Brett Jones help? Hart, a 2015 seventh-round pick, held his own in the limited time he played. Still, whether he is capable to being anything more than a fill-in at guard or right tackle is anyone's guess. Jones spent the season on IR with a knee injury after being signed from the CFL. He also remains an unknown.

Would the Giants chase a free agent right tackle like Mitchell Schwartz, Joe Barksdale or Bobby Massie if one or all were to hit the open market? Would they look to the draft once again? Would they do both?

The answers are unknown. The Giants, though, are still chasing a complete offensive line.