Giants Reunite With Former Lineman: Report

Eric Smith

Getty Images Eric Smith and Kareem Martin battle during a 2019 preseason game.

According to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the New York Giants are bringing back offensive lineman Eric Smith, who worked out for the team on August 7.

Smith played for the Giants in 2019 as he appeared in two games and totaled 56 offensive snaps in that span.

The loss of offensive tackles Matt Gono and rookie Marcus McKethan for the rest of the season has prompted the Giants to sign veteran Will Holden and Smith. The Giants announced that McKethan was placed on the reserve/injured list after suffering a torn ACL in Friday’s practice. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Gono is expected to retire due to a neck injury that he started experiencing last week.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll noted that the team had depth issues at offensive tackle.

“I think Joe (Schoen) and his staff — the scouting department — are going to look at every avenue to try to improve that situation. You obviously can’t, you don’t have a crystal ball when that stuff happens,” Daboll told reporters on Sunday.

New York hasn’t officially announced the signing. A corresponding roster move has not yet been announced but one will need to be made due to Gono’s roster exemption expiring.

Smith’s Career

Smith started 32 games at right tackle for the University of Virginia. He originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The 26-year-old made stops with the Patriots and Jets in 2018.

In 2019, the Giants claimed Smith off waivers from the Jets. Smith made his NFL debut, playing in two games. However, the Virginia product didn’t make the team and was waived on September 5, 2020, by the Giants.

Smith spent the 2020 season with the Dallas Cowboys. He didn’t play in a single game despite receiving two standard elevations for Weeks 2 and 3. He signed a reserve/future contract with Dallas on January 4, 2021, but was waived by the team on August 31, 2021.

Last season, Smith signed with the Cardinals practice squad and appeared in one game, totaling two offensive snaps. He spent the entire year with the Cardinals and signed a reserve/future contract with Arizona after the 2021 season and was waived on August 4, 2022.

Giants Center Returns

Center Jon Feliciano returned to the field last week after experiencing a “heat-related”, which caused him to miss several practices.

“I feel good. Happy to be back out there,” Feliciano told reporters before describing his situation. “Right after the practice, got in the cold tubs. Went through and got an I.V. And then, I’m kind of a hard stick sometimes. And then, missed me a few times. And then after that, I started profusely sweating. And then, I just started full body cramping. Good times.”

It’ll be hard for the Giants’ offensive line in 2022 to be worse than last year. The Giants’ offensive line finished 30th overall in Pro Football Focus’s 2021 end-of-season rankings.

Feliciano is motivated to end the Giants’ offensive line dysfunction.

“We got a lot of work to do. I think we can be — the thing is I think we can be really good. It’s all about getting our reps together and getting our verbiage the same,” Feliciano said. “Early on, it’s just like guys are saying things but they’re saying things from different systems, or in the heat of the moment, we got to get our communication down the best we can.

“Evan (Neal) and (Andrew Thomas), I’ve been around some good tackles in my career and I’ve never seen a rookie in Evan be a vet so early on. That dude is, after every meeting, at night we walk by the weight room and he’s foam rolling or doing something. He’s well beyond his years in that regard of taking care of his body and having AT back out there, in OTAs he wasn’t there, is great.”

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