Although the New York Giants have had minimal salary cap space to work with this offseason, general manager Joe Schoen has made it a priority to add depth in the trenches.
On Tuesday, March 28, the Giants signed offensive lineman Max Garcia to a one-year deal, per team announcement.
Garcia, 30, started 11 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 56.3 overall. During his 2021 campaign, Garcia was ranked as PFF’s No. 66 ranked guard in the NFL, allowing four sacks and 17 total pressures.
Garcia was selected in the fourth-round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, and was a full-time starter at left guard for them from 2016 to 2017.
The University of Florida product has made 39 career regular-season starts at left guard, nine at right guard and four at center. Garcia has also started one postseason game, which was at right guard.
As a result of the Giants’ budget constraints, Schoen has gone shopping on the clearance rack for offensive linemen this offseason. In addition to Garcia, the Giants have added guard Mike Glowinski, center Jon Feliciano, tackle Matt Gono and guard Jamil Douglas.
This group will join a unit, which features only one returning starter from last season: left tackle Andrew Thomas. Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux will also be competing for starting jobs along the offensive line this year. Lemieux underwent surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his knee in September, but he is expected to be healthy ahead of the regular-season.
There is still hope that interior offensive lineman Nick Gates, who underwent an additional procedure recently, could potentially be ready for training camp, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN. Gates is recovering from a Week 2 leg injury, which required multiple surgeries and knocked him out for the remainder of the 2021 regular-season.
Eye for Eye
With Garcia leaving Arizona for New York on Monday, the Giants essentially swapped guards since former second-round pick Will Hernandez signed with the Cardinals on this day as well.
The Giants selected Hernandez at No. 34 overall in the 2018 NFL draft out of UTEP. While the 26-year-old started 56 out of 62 games he appeared in with New York, his tenure with the team was a disappointing one. In Hernandez’s final campaign with the Giants, he surrendered a total of seven sacks, while committing eight penalties in 17 games.
Hernandez was the first offensive lineman that ex-general manager Dave Gettleman drafted during his failed tenure with the Giants. Running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018, is the only remaining member of this draft class that is still on the Giants’ roster.
Barkley Not Being Shopped
Despite the amount of trade rumors that have been linked to Barkley this offseason, Schoen made one thing clear at NFL owner’s meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. on Monday, March 28.
“That was taken a little bit out of context at the combine. I haven’t called one team on Saquon Barkley,” Schoen told reporters regarding the Barkley trade rumors. “Everybody ran with that from the combine. I said I would listen if people called on any players. It would be irresponsible if I didn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m going to do every deal. So I haven’t called one team on Saquon Barkley.
“I’ve got calls about a few of our players. He’s one where a couple teams have reached out. But I’m not shopping Saquon Barkley.”
The Giants owe Barkley $7.2 million in 2022, which is fully guaranteed. The team could still trade the tailback, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, in order to clear cap space. Especially since he does not appear to be in the new regime’s future plans. But according to the GM, Barkley is not being actively shopped.
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