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Chad Slade: Can backup offensive lineman keep job with New York Giants?

Slade was inactive for all 16 games a season ago

New York Giants v Cincinnati Bengals
Chad Slade
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Chad Slade was little more than an afterthought for the New York Giants in 2016. The veteran offensive lineman was on the roster all season, but was inactive for all of the team’s 16 games.

Can Slade impress the new Giants’ coaching staff enough to stick around in 2020, or will he be left behind? Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 318
Age: 28
Position: OL
Experience: 3
Contract: Year 2 of two-year, $1.32 million deal

How he got here

Slade was with the Houston Texans from 2015, when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn, until Houston waived him in January of 2019. In all that time, Slade had only one stint on the Texans’ active roster, playing in five games with three starts during the 2017 season.

The Giants signed him to a Reserve/Futures contract after the Texans released him.

Injuries gave Slade an opportunity to show during training camp and the preseason that he might be able to handle playing either tackle in an emergency situation, and that apparent versatility is likely what earned him a spot on the 2019 53-man roster.

It never, though, earned him playing time. Slade watched Nick Gates fill in at both right tackle and right guard, and even watched the overmatched Eric Smith play 56 snaps at left tackle. All the while, he never earned a game day uniform.

2020 outlook

Honestly, things don’t look good for Slade’s chances of making the active roster.

The Giants drafted three offensive linemen — Andrew Thomas (Round 1, No. 4 overall), Matt Peart (Round 3), Shane Lemiuex (Round 5). Gates, if he isn’t the starting center, played well enough last season to be a valued backup. Cameron Fleming, a capable veteran, was signed to be the swing tackle. The Giants even made a fairly sizable undrafted free agent investment in Kyle Murphy.

None of that bodes well for Slade.