If the New York Giants weren’t thin enough up front, they’ve now lost one of their developmental offensive tackles to the Las Vegas Raiders. On the same day that starting center Nick Gates was placed on injured reserve, offensive lineman Jackson Barton was signed off the team’s practice squad to the Raiders’ active roster.
The decision to poach Barton from Big Blue comes on the heels of Raiders starting right tackle Alex Leatherwood sustaining a back strain in the Silver and Black’s 26-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden informed reporters that Leatherwood is currently “questionable” for the team’s Week 3 bout vs. the Miami Dolphins, via Fox5Vegas. Selected No. 17 overall in last April’s draft, Leatherwood has struggled early on, holding a Pro Football Focus grade of 32.0 over the first two weeks of play.
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Giants O-Line Depth
With Barton gone, the Giants are left with Foster Sarell, Korey Cunningham and Matt Peart as the lone offensive tackles on their active roster/practice squad behind starters Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder. Peart, a 2020 third-round selection, has been receiving looks on the interior of the offensive line this week as the team attempts to find the best five-man compilation up front following the injuries of Shane Lemieux and the aforementioned Nick Gates.
“Nick’s a key figure for us, he really is,” head coach Joe Judge said of Gates, who suffered a season-ending leg fracture in Week 2. “He’s a guy that the entire time we’ve been here he’s been a team-first guy, he’s been an all-in guy, he’s a guy that comes to work every day with a great amount of energy and enthusiasm. We’re still going to rely on him to do that. As he gets better and comes through his healing process, we want to keep him as involved with the team as possible. This guy was voted captain by his teammates for a reason and that’s for leadership. This guy has done a lot of unselfish things and I believe he’ll continue to have an impact on the team.”
Barton, who checks in at a towering 6-foot-7-inches and 302 pounds, has yet to appear in an NFL regular-season game since being selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Despite, his lack of on-field time, Barton does have a Super Bowl ring to boast, as he was part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2019 championship team. A former All-Pac-12 First-Team selection at Utah, Barton has bounced around the league during his short time as a professional, as the Raiders will be his fourth organization in three years.
The 26-year-old originally made his way to East Rutherford via waivers, as he was claimed in September of 2020 after being waived by Kansas City. He failed to make the team’s initial 53-man roster coming out of camp this year, but was subsequently re-signed to the practice squad the following day.