It turns out that Cameron Fleming will be taking the field at MetLife Stadium come opening weekend after all — just not as a member of the New York Giants.
According to 9News’ Mike Klis and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Denver Broncos are signing the veteran offensive lineman to a one-year contract. The Broncos will travel to East Rutherford in Week 1 to kick off the 2021 season against Big Blue.
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Fleming’s Lone Season With the Giants
Fleming started all 16 games for the Giants at right tackle in 2020, logging a career-high 90% of the team’s offensive snaps (911 snaps). A 2014 fourth-round pick by the New England Patriots, Fleming won two Super Bowls during his four-year stint in Foxborough. The 28-year-old has started 42 games throughout his seven-year NFL career, including six starts with the Dallas Cowboys from 2018-19.
There had been chatter that Fleming could return to the Giants this season after the team chose not to address the offensive line in April’s NFL Draft. Yet, despite being a mainstay across a murky Giants o-line unit last season, the return of 2020 opt-out Nate Solder and the desire to give youngster Matt Peart an expanded role in his second pro season made the presence of Fleming no longer dire.
Expect Fleming to Battle for Starting Gig in Denver
Fleming’s signing corresponds with Denver’s recent release of Ja’Wuan James. Inked to a four-year, $51 million deal just two years ago, James appeared in just three games with the Broncos in 2019 before deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season altogether. James recently suffered a torn Achilles while training away from the team’s facility, leading to the team placing him on the reserve/non-football injury list before ultimately opting to cut ties.
Fleming’s path to a starting gig in Denver is no guarantee. The team also recently signed ex-Bear offensive tackle Bobby Massie and undrafted free agent Ryan Pope to help fill the void left behind by James. Massie, 32, has started 110 games over his nine-year NFL career.
As Broncos.com’s Aric DiLalla noted, all three players are expected to be part of Denver’s active roster moving forward.
According to the reports, Fleming is expected to join Massie, Pope, starting left tackle Garett Bolles and Quinn Bailey at tackle on the Broncos’ active roster. Calvin Anderson is expected to be on the team, as well, after he was tendered as an exclusive rights free agent in March.
Giants Showing Faith in Their Youngsters
As we touched on above, the Giants opted against using any of their six draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft to address their offensive line. The decision to avoid the position group certainly left some scratching their heads. With that said, general manager Dave Gettleman has made it clear he feels more than comfortable with the group he has on hand.
“It’s really apparent that we have more confidence in our offensive line than you guys do,” Gettleman told reports following the draft. “We’re happy with the group we have.”
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