The Giants appear ready to spend to fortify their offensive line, and they haven’t ruled out a solution of a big-market UFA and retaining Justin Pugh. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports the Giants aren’t conceding they’ll have to lose Pugh if they are indeed to go after standout guard Andrew Norwell. They are expected to pursue Norwell, Vacchiano reports, and Dave Gettleman — whose Panthers signed Norwell as a UDFA in 2014 — didn’t make it much of a secret how the thinking in New York’s front office has changed regarding guard payments.
“There’s a bunch of guards now that are getting paid,” Gettleman said, via Vacchiano. “And if you think about it, they’re closer to the quarterback. Listen, it’s the market. Is that car worth $150,000? If someone buys it, I guess it’s worth it, you know what I mean? You need to be firm in the middle. So at the end of the day if it’s keeping your quarterback upright and out of the hospital.”
With Pugh and Weston Richburg as UFAs, and Ereck Flowers‘ status having taken a tumble, the Giants are close to starting over up front. Richburg is not expected back, but the team still has Pugh on the radar. But as of Friday they’re only projected to have $23MM in cap space. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Marshall profile as cap-casualty candidates, though. And after going 3-13, the team also has other positions of need. Norwell will almost certainly join the eight-figure-AAV guard contingent, which sits at seven members and is headlined by Kevin Zeitler‘s $12MM-per-year deal last March. Pugh’s best work has come at guard, but the Giants have a need at right tackle as well. And Pugh has played extensively at that spot, which figures to help his market.
Here’s the latest out of the Easts:
- Patriots defensive end Harvey Langi saw his rookie season end after a scary car accident left he and his wife with serious injuries, but Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports the edge defender is now fine and is on track to play in 2018. Langi is also on track to participate in OTAs, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. Langi played in just one game last season, but the Patriots gave the BYU product a hefty bonus to sign as a UDFA.
- With two New York franchises potentially in line to draft quarterbacks in the top 10, Baker Mayfield could conceivably be Big Apple-bound. The polarizing Heisman Trophy winner is not concerned about stepping into the New York spotlight, but the Jets have some concern about how he would handle it and how the city would respond to him, per Vacchiano. A Mayfield setup would mean the Jets lost out on their Plan A, which Vacchiano notes is still Kirk Cousins. And were he to be the pick, the Jets likely would re-sign Josh McCown for a mentor year.
- Spencer Phillips will rise to the position of assistant quarterbacks coach/offensive quality control with the Eagles, Jeff McLane of Philly.com tweets. Now that John DeFilippo departed to become the Vikings’ OC, last season’s assistant QBs coach, Press Taylor, rose to be Philadelphia’s QBs instructor. Phillips was on Philly’s staff as an assistant last season.