"You have no idea who's going to be available. People get cut all the time."
That was New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman when asked at his introductory press conference about avenues that could be used to upgrade the team's porous offensive line.
An example came on Tuesday as the Chicago Bears said they won’t pick up the option on veteran guard veteran guard Josh Sitton. That will make him a free agent next month.
Could the 31-year-old Sitton be a player who interesta the Giants?
Guards Justin Pugh and D.J. Fluker are free agents. So, too, are backups John Greco and Jon Halapio. John Jerry could be a cap casualty.
The Giants are expected to make a big pitch to free agent guard Andrew Norwell. Coming off an All-Pro season the 26-year-old Norwell could easily end up as the NFL's highest-paid guard.
There will be other teams entering free agency seeking offensive line help, many with more cap space than the Giants. What if the Giants get outbid for Norwell? What if they simply think Sitton is a better player than Jerry or Fluker?
Sitton is the same age as Jerry and with four Pro Bowl appearances in 10 seasons to zero for Jerry in eight, he has been a better player throughout his career. As for Fluker, he became a fan favorite last season and would seem deserving of a chance to return. Do you trust a six-game sample size, though, after Fluker had four poor seasons in San Diego or do you trust Sitton’s 10-year body of work?
After making the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons, Sitton did not receive that honor in 2017 as injuries forced him to shuffle to three different spots on the Chicago line. That, though, doesn’t mean his play slipped. His Pro Football Focus grades for the past three seasons:
- 2015: 86.8
- 2016: 85.7
- 2017: 86.0
In moving on from Sitton, the Bears passed on picking up what would have been an $8 million contact option for next season.
Don’t expect Sitton to come cheap. From the Chicago Tribune:
“I am planning on playing and hitting free agency and continuing to play at a high level,” Sitton said. “I believe I have prime years left.”
Would you like to see him spend those years with the Giants?