Everyone, it seems, has a plan for how to fix the New York Giants’ offensive line. That apparently includes retired offensive linemen who used to play for the Giants and now do some work for SB Nation.
Ex-Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, making the media rounds at the Super Bowl this week, shared his plan for rebuilding the line with Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media.
The plan goes pretty much like this:
“You need a tackle no matter what”
Well, it doesn’t take a former NFL player to figure that one out. Schwartz, like a lot of other people, figures one of the two tackles is going to be the much-maligned Ereck Flowers. He will be entering the final year of his rookie contract.
“It’s not like you just put him at right tackle and everything is fine. The thing about moving him to guard is he’s got really bad hands. ... your hands are important at guard because it happens ‘right now.’ So, Flowers has bad hands. If his hands are high on D-ends, what’s going to happen inside? I don’t know. I’m not as high on him as really anybody is. I don’t know if he’s salvageable. I think you put him at right tackle, give him help and you hope things go well this year.”
The other tackle? Schwartz doesn’t see a left tackle worth the investment in free agency. The guy he likes in the draft class is Alax Cappa of Humboldt State. Chris also likes Cappa, whom he calls “ridiculously nasty.”
The summary here — Flowers plays one spot, a draft choice plays the other.
Andrew Norwell over Justin Pugh
This could very well happen. If the Giants are willing to pony up what will probably be the richest contract ever for a guard, Norwell could be a Giant. Dave Gettleman signed him as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers, and with a line to rebuild you have to know he would love to bring him to New York.
Could the Giants sign Norwell AND Pugh, with Pugh playing right tackle? Maybe, but I don’t see it.
Brett Jones over Weston Richburg
I have said this before, but this is also how I think things will turn out. In Schwartz’s words, Jones is “serviceable enough, and cheap.” Richburg is a really good player, but won’t be cheap.
In this scenario, if I’m Gettleman I look in the middle rounds of the draft for a versatile lineman who could challenge Jones for the center spot, either in 2018 or down the road. Austin Corbett of Nevada and Mason Cole of Michigan come to mind.
John Jerry over D.J. Fluker
I love Fluker — it seems like everybody does. Jerry, though, is a good enough player — you don’t get to be a starter in the NFL eight years by being awful. He is already under contract.
I’m not sure what will happen here. Jerry carries a cap hit of $4.125 million in 2018 and the Giants could save $2.5 million of that by cutting him.
I would let Jerry go and re-sign Fluker myself. The passion and run-blocking Fluker brings to the table are attractive. Either way, though, I’m looking for competition in the middle rounds of the draft. Also, I’m probably inviting John Greco to camp to provide depth.