The New York Giants, seeking depth after losing starting center Jon Feliciano and backup Nick Gates in free agency, have reportedly agreed to terms with former Pittsburgh Steelers backup center J.C. Hassenauer.
A former undrafted free agent out of Alabama, Hassenauer entered the league with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. He has been with the Steelers since 2020, appearing in 45 regular season and two playoff games over the past three seasons. He started seven of those games.
Hassanauer has played 545 snaps at center and 147 at left guard during his career.
After losing Feliciano and Gates, the Giants have very little experience on their roster at the center position. Ben Bredeson played 30 snaps at that spot for the Giants in 2022. Jack Anderson played 50 snaps at center for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021. Shane Lemieux has practiced there, but has never played the position in a game.
The Giants are expected to address the position at some point during the 2023 NFL Draft. Here is what GM Joe Schoen said about center during the recent NFL owner’s meetings:
“We had contingency plans in place,” Schoen said. “We claimed Jack Anderson; he was with us in Buffalo. He does good work at center. Ben Bredeson is a guy that we feel very comfortable with playing center. And then Shane Lemieux was playing it as well last year before the (toe) injury.
“So, we’ll have some guys in there that will battle it out as well. We still have the draft. We still have some sufficient guys on the street that we can consider as well. We don’t play until September. We’re in camp until August. Guy may be cut post-camp. There could be cap casualties. So, we’ll be patient. We’ll continue to look. We have confidence in Jack Anderson, Ben Bredeson and Shane that they can snap the ball and play center for us.”