As much as New York Giants fans may bang the table for the team to address the offensive line, the fact of the matter is, they have — we just haven’t reaped the benefits just yet.
With Matt Peart penciled in as the starter at right tackle, four of the projected five starters will all be either entering their second season as a pro, or their second season at their position (Nick Gates – center). Even if Peart doesn’t lock down a starting gig, that would likely mean that 127-career game starter Nate Solder showed well in training camp in his return from an opt-out season.
Yet, while four of the unit’s five starters are essentially accounted for, the right guard position continues to be a spot that presents more questions than answers for the Giants.
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Giants ‘Need to’ Sign Trai Turner?
The team decided to make veteran Kevin Zeitler — arguably their most consistent offensive player — a cap causality earlier this offseason.
New York did go out and add former Texans offensive lineman Zach Fulton in free agency. Yet, while he’s started 90 games over his seven-year career, he also allowed 39 pressures and 11 sacks in 2020, the latter of which led all NFL guards. Former second-rounder Will Hernandez is also a candidate to replace Zeitler. However, the 25-year-old appeared to fall out of favor with a new coaching staff last season and is talked about as a potential roster cut as much, if not more, than he is about being a possible starter.
This is why Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes the Giants must make a run at five-time Pro Bowler Trai Turner, labeling the potential signing as the “one move” the team still needs to make this offseason. Here’s what the B/R columnist had to say:
If the Giants hope to see [Daniel] Jones succeed, they need to improve his offensive line. Jones was sacked an alarming 45 times and had 11 fumbles in 14 games last season.
While the Giants get offensive tackle Nate Solder back after he opted out of the 2020 season, they also parted with starting guard Kevin Zeitler. Free agent Trai Turner could replace Zeitler and, ideally, help improve Jones’ interior pass protection.
Turner was limited by injuries to nine games in 2020, but he is a five-time Pro Bowler and only 27 years old. Adding Turner would require New York to free up cap space as it has only $4.9 million available. It would be worth it, however, as protecting and developing Jones must be the franchise’s No. 1 goal in 2021.
Turner Has Been Readily Linked to the Giants
Knox is simply the latest in a laundry list of NFL minds to make the obvious linkage between Turner and the Giants. While the former third-round pick has certainly seen his play take a dip in recent years, he’s still just one season removed from being selected to his fifth-consecutive Pro Bowl. At just 27 years old, Turner is the type of signing that could quickly prove to be a steal for the Giants if all goes right in East Rutherford — that is, if he doesn’t price himself out of their range.
“Was speaking to an NFL exec for a different story, but Trai Turner came up,” The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweeted back in May. “He said Turner is still asking for $2-3M. Not sure how interested the Giants are, but that is likely out of their price range if they are.”
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