New York Giants Offensive Line Is Still in Good Shape
Alright, guys. It's been quite awhile since I've been able to post on Bleacher Report, but that's life after college I guess. The NFL, as I'm sure you all have noticed, is back in business and as Brad Pitt's character in Inglourious Basterds would say, "Business is a boomin'."
The past 48 hours have been hectic in the world of football and news is flying everywhere about players agreeing to deals. According to NBC Sports, teams can meet and sign their own free agents and draft picks, and also sign undrafted free agents, but can't officially meet and sign free agents from other teams until Friday. This has left even some of the front offices confused with what they can and can't do with available players.
The New York Giants are busy as well and are pulling out some surprises. Some of the moves have been confusing but at the same time do make some sense.
First off, the decision of who to cut from the offensive line is a tough one and won't be justified until the season begins. Three linemen were cut who all started last season at some point, including Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara. Rich Seubert and Shawn Andrews were also cut in an attempt to get under the cap.
The cuts aren't as bad as they appear. Andrews contract was largely incentive based and only guaranteed him $250,000 when he signed a year ago. This was mainly because of back issues before he signed, and those problems can come back at any time. O'Hara and Seubert are both getting up in age and would be 34 and 32, respectively, this coming season.
The Giants have already started to make some moves in regards to fixing up the offensive line cuts. They re-signed Kevin Boothe to a two-year deal and have come to an agreement with former San Francisco 49ers' center David Baas. Baas can also play guard.
Baas is a steady option for the interior of the offensive line and is still in his prime at 29 years of age. He also is one of the meanest looking guys you will ever see. (Check out his player card picture on ESPN.com.) He should be a solid addition for either the center or left guard spot.
The cuts and addition of Baas leaves the Giants with a group of linemen that all started at some point in 2010. Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee and tackle Kareem McKenzie will be starting on the right side of the line, and David Diehl will most likely be moving inside to left guard. If this happens, William Beatty will inherit the starting left tackle job by default as well as the duties of protecting Eli Manning's blind side.
If Diehl somehow remains the starting left tackle, the Giants will have a training camp battle for the left guard position with Boothe and Adam Koets, who actually played center last year when O'Hara was out. If the Giants are comfortable with Koets at center, which is also a possibility, then Baas could go back to his natural position of guard.
Despite these skeptical cuts, the Giants will have a good offensive line. These players, with the exception of Baas, all contributed to one of the best offensive lines in the league. The Giants were sixth in terms of total rushing yards and also tied for the league low with 16 sacks allowed.
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