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Giants trade center Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings

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Jones had clearly lost the center competition to Jon Halapio

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have traded center Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2019 draft pick.

Jones was a primary backup along the interior offensive line before being injured in the 2016 season, flashing the form that made him the best lineman in the Canadian Football League in limited action at left guard and center. He became the Giants starting center in 2017 when Weston Richburg was lost for the season with a concussion.

“I think the trade was good for both (Minnesota and us). We got a pick in return for Brett Jones. He’s one of my favorite guys and he’s going to a really good place. With their situation in the offensive line, he’s going to have a chance to compete to maybe be their starter,” coach Pat Shurmur said Sunday afternoon. “I’m pretty familiar with their situation and he’s going to a very good place, so I’m happy for him, because he’s a real likable guy. He works hard, he’s tough, and I feel like if he can’t be here – I tell the players all the time, we want you all to be here; if you can’t be here, we want you to be somewhere good, and that’s a good place.”

Jones had been in a battle for the Giants’ starting center job with former guard Jon Halapio — a player who, in an ironic twist, Jones helped learn the center position.

That battle seemed to be over by the start of the summer program as Halapio took nearly all of the starting reps, despite apparently being outplayed by Jones in preseason games.

“We like what Halapio has been doing,” Shurmur said. “We just like the way he’s played.”

The move will free up nearly $3 million in cap space, as well as seemingly guarantee John Greco’s roster spot. Ian Rapoport is reporting that the pick the Giants will receive is a 7th-rounder.

— Stay with Big Blue View as we wait more details