This offseason, we have been beating the drum about the changes needed on the offensive line. The situation is dire from the outside looking in. But GM Jerry Reese normally doesn’t panic and it appears he has a few things up his sleeve.
He has three veterans under contract in Chris Snee, David Baas and David Diehl and possibly three free agents returning in Kevin Boothe, Sean Locklear and Will Beatty, Reese has room for only three more players. That is, if keeping all of these players is his plan.
This could be the point in time where the Giants turn the page on their offensive line. According to our staff and readers there is no time like the present to blow this thing up – or retool at the least.
The team must refurbish their line while keeping it productive. The Giants went from last in the NFL in rushing in 2011 to 14th last year. Only Atlanta committed fewer penalties than the Giants. They also allowed the fewest sacks – only 20 (19 vs Eli). So why the urge to change?
Snee will have hip surgery this offseason. Diehl looks to be close to done and Baas has not been what the team expected when they inked him to a five-year deal two winters ago. Locklear is coming off season-ending knee surgery and there is no guarantee Boothe and Beatty won’t be signed away by other teams.
So, what options do they have? Snee and Baas will most likely be there on opening day. Odds are, either Boothe or Beatty will return as well.
The team could also spend a high draft pick to fill a need here (after the combine and pro days, we’ll be able to put some names together. for you).
Brandon Mosley, a fourth round selection last year, is expected to be in the mix…and James Brewer will finally be getting his chance to compete for a spot this year.
After playing sparingly in 2012, Brewer could fit prominently at tackle for the Giants. Brewer was asked by Giants.com what his best moments of the season were:
“I would say against Carolina when it was really my first time getting out there during a regular-season game. We had some goal line plays and stuff and we scored on both of the goal line plays that we ran to my side. I think on the second one, they actually gave me some credit and stuff on a good block. So that was pretty cool. I got text messages about that. But then even though we didn’t do too well against Baltimore, but that was my birthday and I got in and was part of the last scoring drive that we had and that was legit going against starters to gain some game experience. I think I did very well, so I think that was big just to prove that I could do it and belong here.”
Under Pat Flaherty, the line will always be well-coached. Brewer was a project when the Giants drafted him in the fourth round in 2011. After two years of tutelage under Flaherty, the team hopes to launch him in 2013.
“We do expect James Brewer to continue to develop kind of like Will Beatty did,” said Reese last month. That means Brewer will be getting some first-team reps from here on in.