Giants Predicted Steal 4-Year Starter From Top-Ranked Offensive Line

Giants predicted to sign Lions guard Jonah Jackson.

Getty The New York Giants were predicted to sign Detroit Lions free agent guard Jonah Jackson.

The New York Giants were linked to a new potential free agent target in a predicted signing by Pro Football Network writer Dallas Robinson — Detroit Lions four-year starting left guard Jonah Jackson.

“It’s safe to say the Giants should strengthen their offensive line this offseason after ranking dead last in adjusted line yards and sack rate in 2023,” Robinson reasoned on February 22. “Both tackle spots and center are spoken for in New York, but guard can be addressed.”

The analyst added that Detroit is “already spending heavily on OL [and] may be unable to afford Jonah Jackson. But the Giants could use a veteran guard like Jackson, who should be comfortable in any scheme after playing in Ben Johnson’s creative Lions offense.”

Detroit’s offensive line was considered to be a top-ranking unit in 2023, placing second overall on sites like Sharp Football Analysis and Pro Football Focus. Jackson started 14 outings for that group between regular and postseason combined, missing a short stretch of games with injury.

Later, Jackson was sidelined for the NFC championship with a “slight meniscus tear” that required surgery. At the time, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler expressed that the veteran guard would have likely returned for the Super Bowl, if the Lions had beaten the San Francisco 49ers.

Lions’ Jonah Jackson Would Be Upgrade on Giants LGs

Analytically speaking, Jackson is a clear upgrade on the Giants’ collection of left guards in 2023. Using Pro Football Focus, here is how the Lions free agent stacked up against Justin Pugh, Mark Glowinski and Ben Bredeson last season.

Total Snaps Run Blocking Grade Sacks Allowed Pressures Allowed Pass Blocking Efficiency Penalties
Jackson 881
(LG only)
60.3 2 27 96.8 5
Pugh* 763
(527 at LG)
47.3 8 37 95.0 5
Glowinski 521
(202 at LG)
69.6 6 24 94.7 4
Bredeson 1,014
(189 at LG)
41.4 5 39 96.4 6

*Pugh was the only player to log snaps at offensive tackle, which typically adds to the degree of difficulty.

Jackson’s 2023 campaign was also a down year in the run-blocking department. The former third-round selection was graded over 70.0 in that area during 2021 and 2022, and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2021.

He was not charged with a single sack in 2022 over 858 total snaps — his best season in pass protection.

Lions’ Jonah Jackson Projects to Earn $10-13 Million Per Year in 2024

If you look at the 2023 free agency cycle as a reference, it stands to reason that Jackson will be awarded somewhere between $10 to $13 million per year as a top-ranking UFA at guard.

Ben Powers led all guards last spring, earning $51.5 million over four years ($12.875 million per year). From there, Nate Davis was paid $10 million per year over three season ($30 million total) and Isaac Seumalo came in third at $8 million per year ($24 million total).

You could make the argument that Jackson is a stronger free agent than all three — although his recent injuries could lower his stock below Powers. Entering his age 27 campaign, Jackson is also slightly older than Powers was last spring.

Those are the major indicators that Jackson will fall somewhere in the $10 to $12 million per year range, with a slight chance he hits $13 million per year based on inflation.

After all, the NFL salary cap did spike at an “unprecedented” rate in 2024 — and that benefits the players more than anyone. Free agents like Jackson could look to cash-in on an opportune moment financially.

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