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Joel Bitonio contract extension gives Giants framework for Justin Pugh deal

Giants’ guard could be a free agent after 2017 season

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals
Justin Pugh
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants guard Justin Pugh was paying attention to the news that the Cleveland Browns are signing guard Joel Bitonio to a rich contract extension.

That was Pugh’s response to the news that Bitonio is about to get handsomely paid. Bitonio’s extension with Cleveland is going to be worth $51.2 million.

Former Giants lineman and current SB Nation contributor Geoff Schwartz was also paying attention:

Pugh, the Giants 2013 first-round draft pick, is currently set to make $8.821 million in 2017 while playing under the fifth-year option from his rookie contract. If he and the Giants are unable to work out a long-term deal, Pugh could be a free agent following next season.

Pugh, now entrenched at left guard after beginning his career at right tackle, was the Giants’ best lineman last season before missing five games with a knee injury. He has started 55 regular-season games with the Giants in four seasons.