New York Giants: 5 scenarios to fix the offensive line in one offseason

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Ereck Flowers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Ereck Flowers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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ORCHARD PARK, NY – SEPTEMBER 10: Cordy Glenn (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY – SEPTEMBER 10: Cordy Glenn (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants NEED to fix their offensive line this offseason if they want to bounce back from a disappointing 3-13 season and make it back to the playoffs.

We are two weeks away from the official start of the new league year which means the offseason is about to be in full swing. The top priority for Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants will be to fix the offensive line.

Eli Manning’s protection has been an issue for years now and former general manager Jerry Reese repeatedly tried to patch it up with band-aids and duct tape instead of solving the problem with some concrete.

We are now to the point where Eli only has so many good years left, regardless of his protection, so the Giants need to figure out the offensive line ASAP.

New York only has Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Chad Wheeler, Adam Bisnowaty, and John Greco currently under contract for 2018, not including future/reserve contracts. One could argue none of those offensive linemen are starter material. There’s lots of work to do.

Ideally, Big Blue would solve the issue in one offseason. But is that possible? Actually, it is. And there are a few different ways they could go about it.

So let’s take a look at five scenarios for the New York Giants to fix their offensive line all in one offseason:

Scenario 1: Trade back in the draft with BUF, spend big at guard in FA

According to SB Nation’s Hogs Haven, the Buffalo Bills are interested in trading up to the No. 2 overall pick to select Josh Rosen to be their franchise quarterback. If the Giants are going to listen to such a trade, they should look to get left tackle Cordy Glenn in return as part of the package.

Glenn missed most of 2017 due to injury and the Bills did just fine without him so they shouldn’t mind moving him. There are, however, some financial hurdles for the two teams to figure out.

Glenn is set to have a $14.45M cap hit in 2018. If the trade is completed, $3.2M of that (Glenn’s signing bonus) would be covered by Buffalo, but the Giants would likely want to get the remaining $11.25M lowered a bit. If Buffalo and Glenn can work out a contract restructure, turning part of his $9.25M base salary into a signing bonus that Buffalo will cover, this trade could work out for all involved parties. Glenn gets more money up front, Buffalo gets to draft Rosen, and the Giants get a new left tackle.

Despite recent injuries, Glenn is an improvement over Ereck Flowers. With this trade, the Giants also get picks No. 21 and 22 in the draft, which we will get to in a moment.

New York needs to lower Glenn’s cap hit so that they can spend big in free agency on Andrew Norwell.

Norwell has been connected to the Giants because of his familiarity with Dave Gettleman from their times in Carolina (Gettleman signed Norwell after he went undrafted). In fact, the Giants are reportedly prepared to make Norwell the highest paid guard in the NFL.

Norwell was First-Team All-Pro at left guard in 2017 and would be a great addition to the Giants offensive line. Although left guard Justin Pugh has been the best lineman New York has had the past few years, his struggles to stay healthy make Norwell the better choice.

When it comes to center, the Giants have Weston Richburg set to become an unrestricted free agent and Brett Jones set to become a restricted free agent. After Richburg landed on injured reserve with a concussion, Jones filled in admirably and proved he can be a capable starter. Jones will also cost less, making him the easy choice.

John Jerry and D.J. Fluker each spent time at right guard in 2017, among others. Fluker was the best of the bunch, especially when it came to the running game. He’s a free agent but shouldn’t be too difficult to re-sign. If all of these acquisitions cause money issues for Big Blue, they could cut Jerry to save $2.5M.

By trading back to picks No. 21 and 22, the Giants will have an opportunity to draft an offensive tackle in the first round without having to reach for one in the top five. One tackle from the group of Orlando Brown, Connor Williams, and Mike McGlinchey could be available and any of them could be a day one starter at right tackle. They also all have potential to move to left tackle if New York decides to cut bait on Glenn after 2018.

LT Cordy Glenn

LG Andrew Norwell

C Brett Jones

RG D.J. Fluker

RT Orlando Brown/Connor Williams/Mike McGlinchey