Although the legal tampering period of free agency is still five days away, the New York Giants have already begun rebuilding their offensive line.
Earlier this afternoon, the Giants signed former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Matt Gono to a one-year deal, as ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler reported.
Gono was released by the Falcons back in January after missing the entire 2021 season due to offseason surgery for an undisclosed injury.
The New Jersey native signed with Atlanta as an undrafted free agent back in 2018. Gono went onto appear in a total of 21 games for the Falcons between 2019 and 2020, while notching four starts during this span.
Gono, 25, has a 6″4, 305 pound frame which is why experts believe he has some upside if he can stay healthy. His best season came in 2020 when he recorded a career-high 336 snaps with 232 of them coming at right tackle, 68 at left guard, nine at left tackle and 27 as a jumbo tight end. During this campaign, Gono allowed one sack, five quarterback hits and 16 pressures.
Gono is expected to factor in as a key depth piece/swing tackle for the Giants’ offensive line. He is also better equipped as a run blocker, which is why he could play a role in short yardage/goal line situations.
Giants new general manager Joe Schoen does not have much salary cap space to work with, as he continues to try to clear more room by cutting veteran players. This aspect makes it even more difficult for Schoen to fix the offensive line ahead of the 2022 season. But signing Gono on what is expected to be a cheap, one-year deal, are the types of budgetary moves that the Giants must hit on in order to improve their line next year.
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The Mitchell Trubisky to the Giants buzz is starting to pick up more steam.
The former Bills‘ backup quarterback, who was with Schoen and Giants head coach Brian Daboll in Buffalo last season, appears to be an ideal fit to come in and compete with Daniel Jones for the starting job in 2022.
However, as a result of a weak quarterback class in this upcoming NFL Draft, Trubisky’s market could be extensive in free agency. This means that other teams might be inclined to swoop in and offer him more money, given the Giants’ limited cap space.
In the very least, if the Giants find a way to bring in Trubisky, he’d serve as a viable backup option to Jones if he cannot beat him out. Trubisky is also said to have a strong relationship with Daboll, who was his offensive coordinator in Buffalo in 2021.
While ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported that the Giants are expected to make a run at Trubisky, he cautioned that the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2017 could have better options around the league. Teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in need of a quarterback, and Trubisky could potentially land in one of these destinations and immediately be sitting atop the depth chart. According to Raanan, league sources believe Trubisky could draw a contract that would max out at $10 million per year with incentives.
Trubisky spent four seasons with the Chicago Bears, leading them to the playoffs in 2018 and 2020. The 27-year-old made the Pro Bowl in 2018, and a number of teams could take a flier on him this offseason to see if he can maximize his potential in the right system.
Engram’s Market Heating up
With tight end Evan Engram likely on the way out in East Rutherford, he is expected to draw a number of suitors when free agency begins next week.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, several teams have been inquiring about Engram as a slot wide receiver and tight end. Engram is believed to be a match-up nightmare in space as a receiver, which could add value to a multitude of offenses around the league.
Several tight ends were franchise tagged on March 8 as well, meaning that there will likely be a number of teams jostling for Engram’s services once free agency officially begins.
Engram was drafted by the Giants at No. 23 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. He showed promise across his first three seasons with the team, but dealt with a slew of injuries, causing him to miss 14 games from 2017 to 2019.
The 27-year-old has stayed healthy in the last two seasons, but his production has fallen off significantly.