Julio Cortez/Associated Press
OT Justin Pugh, OT Will Beatty, G/C Kevin Boothe (UFA), C David Baas, C/G Jim Cordle (RFA), OG Chris Snee, OG James Brewer, OG Brandon Mosley, OG Eric Herman
There’s little doubt that by the time Jerry Reese gets through making personnel changes this offseason, the offensive line is going to look a lot different than it did in 2013.
If the Giants’ mantra is to get younger and healthier along this unit, then there is a very good chance that Baas and Snee won’t be in the plans moving forward.
Let’s start with Baas, who since signing with the Giants as an unrestricted free agent in 2011, has been unable to stay healthy.
He will be 33 years old in September and is coming off a year in which he had multiple surgeries, including the season-ending knee surgery he had back in October.
As I’ve previously noted, Baas has dealt with a neck issue that last season cost him three games. Thus far the issue has resolved itself through rest. However, his injury history at KFFL shows that he's been listed on the Giants’ injury report with a neck ailment in two of his three seasons with the team.
With an $8.225 million cap figure for 2014, it makes it rather difficult to gamble on Baas making it through a season.
It also probably doesn’t make much sense for the Giants to restructure his contract at this point, considering his contact ends in 2015 and there is probably little to no chance he's extended.
My guess is that Baas will be a salary-cap cut, which would enable the Giants to gain the $1.775 million savings.
Snee presents another sticky situation. As of this writing, no announcement has been made as to whether the 10-year veteran, who had surgical procedures on each hip and one elbow in 2013, plans to retire.
If the Giants are truly committed to getting younger and healthier along the line, it would make sense to move on from Snee, a Pro Bowl guard in 2012.
On the other hand, if the surgeries allow Snee to move the way he did that season, and if the team feels good about him potentially finishing out the 2014 season, he could provide the veteran presence along a line that is expected to become significantly younger moving forward.
For Snee to remain, the Giants will need to work with him to reduce his $11.3 million cap figure for 2014, the final year of his contract.
What New York could do with Snee is tack on a voidable year in order to justify a reduction of his $6.75 million base salary with the reduced base being converted into bonus money spread out over a two-year period.
If Snee ends up as a salary-cap cut, the Giants would save $6.8 million, per Over the Cap.
Beatty, who had a disappointing 2013 season after signing his new contract last winter, could be a target for a restructure, especially considering he's trying to come back from a broken leg suffered in the regular-season finale.
The problem is, according to the details of his contract as provided by Rotoworld, Beatty’s second-year base salary of $4.85 million is fully guaranteed, so I'm not sure if the Giants can—or will—touch Beatty's contract.
As for the rest of the offensive line, I think the Giants will look to add one free agent. I also think the odds are high for them drafting an offensive lineman in the first two rounds, and I could see them picking up another veteran maybe after training camp cuts are announced.
As for the positions they might be targeting, in free agency and the draft, the Giants actually have some flexibility, thanks to Justin Pugh’s versatility.
Pugh’s ability to play anywhere along the offensive line, including center, will allow the Giants to be a little more judicious regarding what they target.
For example, if the Giants do cut Baas and they are unable to afford Alex Mack of the Browns, don't be surprised if Pugh moves to center and the Giants instead target a tackle in the draft.