Giants Must Answer Serious Questions Along Offensive Line This Offseason
Excerpt: "Out of all the areas on the Giants roster that need work this offseason, perhaps none is as important as the development of the offensive line. Currently, the Giants have questions to answer at every single position in front of quarterback Eli Manning, which could make patching together a respectable group of linemen a precarious proposition this offseason. With limited salary cap space, two impending free-agents in left tackle Will Beatty and left guard Kevin Boothe and question marks at a number of other positions, Jerry Reese and Co. have a monumental task before them this offseason.
The Giants can't afford to let either Beatty or Boothe get away in free agency once the league year begins on March 12th. Unless the team has confidence that James Brewer, Brandon Mosely, Jim Cordle or Matt McCants can step in and contribute next season, there are very few realistic, NFL ready prospects in the draft that will be available at No. 19 this April. Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Chance Wormack and Lane Johnson all have the ability to become top-15 picks. Unless the Giants are willing to trade up, there will not be value along the offensive line at No.19. It's entirely possible a second or third-round pick is ready to start immediately, but that's not something the team can rely on.
Let's take a look at each contributing member of the offensive line in 2012, and examine their situation heading into 2013.
As stated above, Will Beatty is a free agent this offseason and will be able to field offers from any team in the league. As a left tackle who has the potential to improve over the next few years, the Giants need to sign him to ensure any semblance of an effective offensive line next season. Beatty has a 6'6" and 319 pound frame and showed improved technique last season. Quality left tackle's don't come around very often in the NFL and the Giants have one in Beatty.
That said, the team needs to have a limit on how much they are going to pay him. Obviously, the Giants are tight on salary cap room and will not be able to give him a mega-contract, regardless of their desire to keep him. However, more than that, it's important to realize the Beatty is 28 years old. Similar to running backs, offensive linemen tend to physically regress around the age of 30. That mean's that if the team signs Beatty to a four or five year contract, the latter half of that deal will be for a player on the downside of his career. Unless Beatty's deal is cap friendly in the final two years of the contract, the Giants must be wary of how much money they give him." Read more...