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Giants NFL free agency 2022: Takeaways after Day 1 of negotiating window

Thoughts as Joe Schoen begins ‘very calculated’ free agency

NFL Combine
Joe Schoen
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We have been telling you for a while that the New York Giants would not be doing anything splashy in 2022 NFL free agency. Monday made it painfully obvious that the Giants are not going to be major players in the first wave of free agency. The Giants agreed to terms with veteran guard Mark Glowinski, most recently of the Indianapolis Colts, but that was a mid-level three-year, $20 million deal for a good but not exceptional player.

Here are some thoughts after Day 1 of the negotiating window.

End of the Mitchell Trubisky hype train

Mitchell Trubisky to the Giants never really made sense. Not with teams out there who could sign him as their clear-cut starter.

Well, the Trubisky to the Giants hype train — which had clearly careened out of control before Monday’s start of the negotiating window — crashed to a halt quickly early in the afternoon.

Trubisky quickly agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he will replace Ben Roethlisberger and likely be the bridge quarterback until the Steelers find their long-term answer.

And the Giants? Well, they still need a better backup than Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm. Davis Webb’s return to New York is a nice story, but he still has yet to throw an NFL pass since being the Giants’ 2017 third-round pick.

Here are some names to know.

Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, Jacoby Brissett, Chad Henne, Case Keenum. The Giants need competency in a No. 2 quarterback. Any of these guys should provide that.

Offensive line clues

We may have gotten some clues on Monday as to how the Giants will proceed in the 2022 NFL Draft when it comes to the offensive line.

First of all, the Giants cannot afford another free agent offensive line signing in the price range of what they are reportedly going to pay Mark Glowinski [three years, $20 million, $11 million guaranteed.. That means if they are going to find a right tackle better than the recently signed Matt Gono, it is almost certainly going to have to come in the draft.

That would indicate Evan Neal of Alabama or Ikem Ekwonu of North Carolina State would be obvious targets with the fifth or seventh overall picks. And I will agree with something that our old friend ‘Invictus’ tweeted Monday afternoon:

If both of those players are gone, as we sit here today I think that increases the chances that the Giants would be willing to pick Charles Cross of Mississippi State or Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa in the top 10.

How will the Giants employ Glowinski? He has played 166 snaps at left guard in seven seasons, but has otherwise spent all of his time on the right side. I have to believe that’s where the Giants will use him.

The Giants followed up the Glowinski deal by reportedly signing former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Jon Feliciano to play center. Feliciano has more experience at guard, but he has been with Joe Schoen, Brian Daboll and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson long enough for them to know if he can handle the center spot.

Neither of these signings is splashy. Neither of these players is top tier. They are both competent veterans, though, and the kind of players the Giants needed to target given their limited resources. They should help upgrade the line and give the Giants flexibility in the draft.

Bad news for Darius Slayton?

The Giants brought back C.J. Board, a move I was glad to see. Board provides receiving depth, is excellent on coverage teams, and was emerging as a viable option as a returner before fracturing his arm last season.

Wide receiver Robert Foster was also added. After spending 2021 on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad, that was likely a veteran minimum deal with nothing guaranteed. Still, Foster played for Daboll at Alabama and had his one productive NFL season with Daboll in 2018, catching 27 passes for Buffalo.

The Giants still need cap space, and these moves have me wondering if the organization will look to move on from Darius Slayton and his $2.598 million cap hit. The Giants can save $2.54 million by trading or cutting Slayton, and I think Monday increased the odds of that happening.

Evan Engram’s nice payday

The now-former Giants tight end got a one-year deal with $9 million guaranteed on Monday from the free-spending Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s nice money for the Giants’ 2017 first-round pick — money the Giants were never going to be able to spend.

Despite Engram’s struggles in New York, he was always a standup guy and a hard worker. Good luck to Engram as he continues his career.