Whether or not the New York Giants are ultimately successful in their apparent pursuit of offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, fans should be gratified by the effort. It is the latest clear sign that the organization recognizes that additions to the line are still necessary.
Of course, the fact that the Giants recognize that they would be helped by both an upgrade at right tackle and the addition of some proven depth on the line should have been obvious to anyone paying attention.
The Giants did not draft an offensive lineman, as we know. In all probability they would have had the right player been available for them. Let’s be honest, though, right now it is looking difficult to argue with any of the Giants’ first three selections — cornerback Eli Apple, wide receiver Sterling Shepard and safety Darian Thompson.
In free agency, the Giants did make strong runs at veterans Russell Okung and Donald Penn. They did add some young linemen in Ryan Seymour, Dillon Farrell and Byron Stingily to compete for depth positions.
When Monroe, a seven-year veteran and former first-round pick with 90 career regular-season starts, became available the Giants reportedly investigated a trade for him. Newsday reported, however, that the Giants were unwilling to both surrender a draft choice and pay the $6.5 million salary Monroe would have commanded.
Monroe has now been released by the Baltimore Ravens, thus he is free to strike a deal with any team. The Giants, per a variety of reports, are expected to be among the serious suitors for his services. Signing Monroe would likely allow the Giants to return Marshall Newhouse to the swing tackle role they originally signed him for, helping both the starting lineup and the offensive line depth.
In convincing the 29-year-old Monroe, a Plainfield, N.J. native, to come to New York, the Giants face the same issue they faced in wooing Okung and Penn. Like those two, Monroe is a career-long left tackle. It is possible, of course, that the Giants would sign Monroe and move Ereck Flowers to right tackle. That, however, seems unlikely. They refused to do so for Okung or Penn. Why should they be expected to do so for Monroe?
Flowers, for his part, said Wednesday he is unconcerned about any of that chatter.
"I could(n’t) care less. I could(n’t) care less about any of that. That entire conversation," he said.
Maybe the Giants will be able to bring Monroe to New York. Maybe they won’t. Maybe the answer will end up being Phil Loadholt of the Minnesota Vikings, currently retired Anthony Davis of the San Francisco 49ers or someone else we haven’t thought of.
The effort to get Monroe, however, is a positive sign that the Giants are continuing to look for an upgrade.