The deal will tie Thomas to the Giants through 2029 and pay him $67 million in guaranteed money, a record for all offensive linemen.
Thomas is certainly deserving of the much larger paycheck that’s about to hit his account.
New York’s top pick in the 2020 NFL draft became Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded offensive lineman for long spurts of the 2022 season. He ended up as PFF’s third-best tackle and 16th-best player overall, trailing only Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson (No. 9) and San Francisco’s Trent Williams (13) at his position.
“It’s hard to believe that Thomas was a liability as a rookie left tackle for the Giants,” PFF wrote about Thomas in its Top 101 Player Rankings. “This year, he was consistently one of football’s best tackles, finishing with 81.0-plus PFF grades as both a run blocker and pass protector.”
That’s why general manager Joe Schoen made the “no brainer move” to pick up Thomas’ fifth-year option on May 2 — and why Schoen immediately went to work on a longer-term move to lock the left tackle in.
Is Andrew Thomas’ New Giants Contract Actually Team Friendly?
Thomas’ deal could soon be extremely advantageous for Schoen and the Giants, despite breaking some records.
Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil secured a three-year, $75 million extension this offseason. And league sources told The Athletic’s Dan Duggan that Thomas’ deal was expected to surpass with a deal that started “at $25 million per year.”
Thomas certainly got paid. But the 24-year-old’s new deal pays him $23.4 per season, less than the 28-year-old Tunsil and only slightly more than Williams or 29-year-old Packers blocker David Bakhtiari, according to Spotrac.
His $67 million in guaranteed money eclipses Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley ($67 million), Saints tackle Ryan Ramczyk ($60.2 million), Tunsil ($60 million), and Chiefs tackle Jawaan Taylor ($60 million), according to ESPN team reporter Jordan Raanan. But even that high number still favors the Giants, per Empire Sports Media’s Alex Wilson.
“Thomas got paid $67 million guaranteed at signing,” Wilson wrote on social media. “Meaning if you spread that money across five season (of the deal), it’s $13.4M in dead money… (The Giants can) front-load the majority of it. That way, they aren’t on the hook for any dead money in the future.”
The timing of the deal also helps New York as much as it compensates Thomas. The NFL’s offensive tackle market is set to explode in 2024 — and the Giants just took care of their own, according to NJ.com’s Daryl Slater.
“Elite offensive tackles Rashawn Slater (Chargers), Penei Sewell (Lions), and Tristan Wirfs (Buccaneers) could all get a second contract in 2024,” Slater wrote. “It’s worth remembering that the offensive tackle market could see a significant uptick next offseason, considering the players who are eligible for a lucrative second contract at that point. But the Giants handed Thomas enough money for him to not wait — and to agree to sign this deal now.”
What Will GM Joe Schoen Do After Andrew Thomas’ Deal?
With Thomas’ mega-deal, Schoen has accomplished more in his second offseason than some of his predecessors did in their entire tenures.
Cross off the big ticket items on his checklist. Quarterback Daniel Jones and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence also received new deals. And Schoen also sidestepped drama with Saquon Barkley, ending a potential holdout with a one-year pact signed on July 25.
Mix in a trade for former All-Pro tight end Darren Waller and draft class some experts viewed as the league’s most valuable and Schoen deserves high marks.
Schoen can make those moves can happen anytime — or wait until his third offseason next year.