Giants Make Much-Needed Offensive Line Signing; Waive 2 Players

Giants sign Ted Larsen

Getty Guard Ted Larsen #62 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the midst of gearing up for their preseason opener against their MetLife roommates, the New York Giants made a much-needed addition to their offensive line group. The team announced the signing of veteran Ted Larsen, who most recently earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.

Larsen, 34, has experience playing all three interior offensive line positions, a major plus for a Giants position group that has taken quite a hit to their depth in recent weeks. How much you might ask? Ben Wilkerson recently filled in on the second-team unit in walk-throughs (h/t’s Art Stapleton).

Problem is, Wilkerson is not a player but rather an assistant offensive line coach. He’s been an NFL assistant for the past six seasons and hasn’t appeared in an NFL game as a player since 2008.

In other roster news, the team has opted to move on from running back Mike Weber and defensive back Jordyn Peters. The former, who had been on injured reserve with a hip flexor, was waived with an injury settlement.

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Giants’ Thinning Offensive Line

The Giants chose not to aggressively address the loss of Kevin Zeitler this offseason. Instead, they made a slew of under-the-radar veteran additions at the guard/center position. Thus far, none are panning out.

Joe Looney and Zach Fulton — who have 132 career starts under their belt combined — both abruptly retired in the span of four days. Jonotthan Harrison, who started 10 games for the New York Jets in 2018, continues to be sidelined with an injury that continues to grow in mystery, as highlighted by New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard.

Thankfully, projected starting left guard Shane Lemieux avoided serious injury earlier in training camp and has since returned to practice. However, Nate Solder, who’s returned to the team after opting out of the 2020 NFL season, recently went down with a shoulder injury.

“I think Nate is obviously having a pretty damn good camp for us. We’re pleased with the progress he’s making right there,” Judge told reporters of Solder. “So we want to make sure we keep him on the field as long as we can, but obviously we won’t do anything that puts a player at risk.”

With second-year pro Matt Peart expected to man the starting right tackle position this season, Solder is in line for a swing tackle role. He’s also moonlighted at right guard sparingly during training camp, via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan.

Hernandez has had his ups and downs throughout camp in his transition to the right side, but likely has the right guard slot locked down. Kenny Wiggins, a nine-year journeyman who spent part of last season on the Giants’ practice squad, has been getting looks with the first-team unit as well.

Larsen Overview

Larsen, who checks in at 6-foot-3-inches and 323 pounds, was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The North Carolina State product never played a snap for the Pats, being released as part of final roster cuts as a rookie. However, he quickly found his footing in Tampa Bay after the Buccaneers claimed him off waivers, starting 11 games during his first pro season. Larsen spent four seasons in Tampa Bay, bouncing between a starting and reserve role at both the center and guard position. In 60 games with the Bucs from 2010-2013, Larsen started 31 games.

In total, Larsen has started 88 games over his 11 NFL seasons, spanning across stints with the Arizona Cardinals (2014-2015), Chicago Bears (2016, 2019), Miami Dolphins (2017-2018) and a reunion with the Buccaneers this past season.


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