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Giants have discussed new deals for Pugh, Richburg

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Giants must prioritize keeping core players from their draft classes

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals
Justin Pugh
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have had “some discussion” about new contracts for offensive linemen Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, general manager Jerry Reese said on Sunday.

Pugh, the first-round pick in the 2013 draft, and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, the second-round pick, are in the final seasons of their four-year rookie contracts. Quarterback Ryan Nassib, the 2013 fourth-round pick, is also in the final year of his deal.

As a first-round pick, the Giants have some flexibility with Pugh, the versatile offensive lineman who has settled in at left guard. They can exercise a fifth-year option at a cost of $8.821 million for the 2017 season.

Richburg has two years left on his rookie contract. Having emerged last season as one of the game’s best centers, and clearly the Giants’ best offensive lineman, it would make sense for the Giants to make certain Richburg stays with them for several more years.

A primary reason the Giants fell into the hole they did the past few seasons is, as co-owner John Mara has rightly pointed out, the lack of a core from their draft classes. Jason Pierre-Paul is the only Giant remaining from the 2010 draft, and there are no current Giants from the 2011 or 2012 classes.

As the Giants enter a new era with Ben McAdoo as coach, drafting better and keeping the core players from those drafts has to be a priority. They appear to have accomplished the first part of that equation over the past two to three drafts. Now, they need to handle the second part.

That is why what happens with Pugh, Hankins, Richburg and other young players who are emerging as key players bears watching.

Odell Beckham? Yes, the Giants have to begin thinking about how much keeping the superstar wide receiver is going to cost. That, though, is a discussion for another day.