Do the New York Giants still need to make one more move this offseason to bolster their offensive line? ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks so, suggesting the signing of free agent left guard Dalton Risner. [ESPN+]
Although the New York Giants don’t have a ton of cap space after re-signing Daniel Jones, extending Dexter Lawrence and franchising Saquon Barkley, they should have enough room to get creative with voidable years if they want to sign a player to a one-year deal. And Risner should be that player. The Giants rotated Nick Gates and Ben Bredeson at left guard last year, but Gates left for the Commanders in free agency. Joshua Ezeudu — a 2022 third-rounder — suffered a neck injury last November, leaving the Giants in a vulnerable position at left guard in 2023.
Risner started 62 games over four seasons with the Broncos, and although the 2019 second-round pick wasn’t a superstar, he was expected to land a multiyear deal for starter money somewhere in free agency. Instead, the Broncos signed Ben Powers to replace Risner, who hasn’t found a market. Risner missed the season finale against the Chiefs with a strained UCL in his elbow, but that injury wouldn’t have prevented the 27-year-old from finding a new team.
Instead, he appears to be looking at a limited market of teams who need meaningful help at guard. A one-year deal with the Giants in the $5 million range would make sense for both parties; Brian Daboll’s team would get a veteran protecting Jones and security if Ezeudu struggles to return, while Risner would play in a well-regarded offense and earn a shot at a long-term deal after 2023, either with the Giants or elsewhere.
Is this a move the Giants should make?
If the Giants found the cap space to make an offer to Risner like the one-year, $5 million deal Barnwell suggests, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
Risner is a starting-caliber player, maybe the left guard equivalent of Giants right guard Mark Glowinski. His Pro Football Focus grades were in the 60s during each of his four seasons in Denver, with a high 68.5 and a low of 61.1. He has allowed 10 sacks over four seasons and his pass-blocking efficiency scores have been 97.1 or above each year.
Risner will still be just 28 years old this season.
Personally, though, I don’t see this as a necessary move. The Giants already have a number of options to fill the left guard spot.
Ben Bredeson played fairly well in 2022, his first real opportunity to play full time. The Giants played well with him in the lineup. Joshua Ezeudu was inconsistent as a rookie and suffered a concerning neck injury, but the Giants selected him Round 3 last year because they believe he is a starting-caliber player.
Shane Lemieux is still around, as is 2022 fifth-round pick Marcus McKethan. Wyatt Davis and Jack Anderson are farther down the depth chart.
Signing Risner might be worthwhile, but it would also likely complicate the Giants’ ability to make any in-season moves.
Is Risner enough of an upgrade for the Giants to use some of their limited cap resources on? What do you think, Giants fans?