A vociferous portion of the New York Giants fan base believes that 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers has no business being the team’s left tackle, and has to be moved. If you have been paying attention, though, you know that quality left tackles are a scarce commodity this offseason, and there are several teams hoping to land one of the few who could be available.
Maybe, just maybe, the best thing the Giants could do in an effort to upgrade their offensive line is focus on right tackle, where there might be better options.
One of those, perhaps the best of the bunch, is Ricky Wagner of the Baltimore Ravens.
Pro Football Focus recently ranked Wagner No. 1 on its list of 10 under-the-radar players about to become free agents.
Right tackles continue to be overlooked in the NFL, and will therefore fly under the radar. Ricky Wagner fits this mold, as he’s been a solid RT for the Ravens over the past three seasons. Seemingly an outlier year in 2015, Wagner graded as a top right tackle in the NFL in 2014 and 2016. He started the year off shaky, surrendering three sacks and four hits through six games, but didn’t allow a single sack or hit on the QB in his final eight games (he missed two games). Wagner’s knock is his run blocking, as that facet of his game is below-average, but in a passing league, his pass-blocking ability should be coveted.
Wagner, 27, is a four-year veteran and has been the Ravens full-time starter at right tackle for the past three seasons. Our friends at SB Nation’s Baltimore Beatdown call Wagner a “great right tackle” and, obviously, hope he stays with the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Ravens, though, are currently among the teams expected to have the least amount of salary cap space heading into next season.
Spotrac’s Market Value Tool currently shows that Wagner can expect to receive at least a four-year, $27.6 million deal, or $6.9 million annually. Considering that the guard market has already been set at around $8 million annually for quality players, perhaps Wagner could end up getting around $10 million per year.
Wagner doesn’t solve the left tackle issue, but he would upgrade the right side of the line, perhaps allowing Bobby Hart to move to guard, the position the Giants originally envisioned him playing.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?