We know that the New York Giants have to — again — try to rebuild their offensive line. We know that Andrew Thomas is part of the long-term solution. Beyond that, GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll have to figure out if there is anything salvageable from the wreckage left behind by Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge and the team’s revolving door of offensive line coaches.
One of those players Schoen and Daboll have to make a decision about is center Billy Price.
2021 salary cap hit: $2.077 million
Making the case
Price was acquired from the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for B.J. Hill. With Cincinnati in the Super Bowl and Hill having played well in helping them get there, it is easy — and maybe correct — to say ‘well, the Bengals won that trade.’
Price, though, was far from the biggest problem on the Giants’ offensive line. With the exception of his first game (a sack, five pressures, a 13.9 Pro Football Focus passing grade) in Week 2 after just two weeks of practice and without the injured Nick Gates to help and his last game (his second sack allowed for the season and three total pressures) after missing a week following his wife’s miscarriage, Price did pretty much what the Giants hoped he would do.
He provided depth and played adequately when he was called upon.
Unfortunately, the 2018 first-round pick was called upon more than the Giants hoped. He started 15 games and played a career-high 984 snaps. He finished the season ranked 19th by PFF among 26 qualifying centers.
The Giants should not go into 2022 looking at Price as their starting center. They really need to try and find an upgrade (I hear you, Tyler Linderbaum fans).
At the right price, though, which is probably $2 million or less, Price would be excellent depth. He has 478 career snaps at left guard and 178 at right guard, so he has experience covering three spots.
If a team wants to give Price more than $2 million and make him their starting center, so be it. If he will take less to come back as a depth piece, I would be fine with that.