New York Giants: Can Sean Locklear Take over Kareem McKenzie's RT Job?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMay 7, 2012

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 20:  Sean Locklear #75 of the Seattle Seahawks takes the field prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

When the 2011 season ended, Giants fans knew that Kareem McKenzie would likely not be brought back as the right tackle.

As he got older, he slowed down and progressively got worse and with him now a free agent, he'll be finding work elsewhere in 2012.

With McKenzie gone, there is a void at the right tackle spot and we all thought they might fill it in the 2012 NFL Draft.

They did draft Brandon Mosley from Auburn and Matt McCants from Alabama-Birmingham, but as rookies, they'll likely be starting the season as backups.

I think the Giants next right tackle for the 2012 season was already picked up in free agency back in early April.

It was a free-agent signing that got almost no attention because the Giants made the signing the same day they made the trade for linebacker Keith Rivers.

While Rivers got all the attention, the Giants made an under-the-radar move in signing former Seahawks tackle Sean Locklear.

Locklear spent seven years with Seattle as their starting right tackle and was on the 2005 NFC Championship team that lost in Super Bowl XL to the Steelers.

Locklear spent the 2011 season with the Washington Redskins, playing both at tackle and guard, which adds to Locklear's value.

Some of the Giants lineman can play different positions; David Diehl and Kevin Boothe both played all over the line in 2011 because of injuries.

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 2:  Sean Locklear #75 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Locklear prefers to play on the right side and at right tackle, and when he was signed, Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin told him that he has a chance to compete for a starting job, just like everyone else on the team.

That's the motivation that Coughlin gives to his players. Everyone is on the same level and have a chance to contribute to the team.

Although Locklear isn't guaranteed the right tackle job, he's the potential front-runner to get the job because of his experience at the spot.

At 6'4" and 310 pounds, the soon-to-be 31-year-old right tackle could end up being another good, bargain signing for the Giants, which is typical Jerry Reese.

Since taking over as the Giants general manager in 2007, Reese is known for these types of moves, and for the most part, they work out in the Giants' favor, which is why they have won two Super Bowls in four years.

If one of the two rookies develop quickly and are ready to start, there is a possibility that Locklear could end up playing at one of the guard spots if there is an injury. Kevin Boothe benefited from that when Will Beatty was put on the IR with an eye injury and David Diehl shifted back over to left tackle from left guard.

With a few months left until the start of the 2012 campaign, one of the questions heading into the preseason will be the right tackle spot.

Will Locklear end up taking McKenzie's spot at right tackle? And if so, can he play consistently enough to keep the job?

Stay tuned, Giants fans.