The Giants had one of the easier decisions to make with respect to today’s deadline on fifth-year options. As expected, they have exercised the option on left tackle Andrew Thomas, per a team announcement.
The 24-year old will now be on the books for at least the next two seasons, with a 2024 cap hit of $14.175MM. That figure is lowered by the fact that Thomas has yet to earn a Pro Bowl nod, but all-star appearances could be in his future considering his career ascent. His level of play in 2022 has put him squarely on the radar for a long-term deal.
Such a move could come later this offseason, a reflection of how the Georgia alum is viewed by the Giants’ front office. Thomas has taken a considerable step forward in terms of PFF evaluation in each of his three seasons, developing from a player who appeared to have been a reach at No. 4 overall to one of the game’s best pass protectors. He earned a stellar overall grade of 90.3 in 2022, ranking him third amongst qualifying tackles.
The 2020 first-round class has seen a mixed bag of results with options being picked up or declined, including along the offensive line. Thomas has proven to be a worthwhile investment for the Giants, a team which has both he and quarterback Daniel Jones in place for multiple seasons (along with another foundational piece, running back Saquon Barkley, in the fold for at least the 2023 campaign on the franchise tag).
A long-term Thomas accord will be worth far more than the price of the option next year, with Laremy Tunsil‘s latest Texans deal (three years, $75MM) considered by many to be the floor for any agreement. At a minimum, Thomas can be expected to become only the fourth blindside blocker in the league to reach the $20MM-per-year mark. If negotiations stall out this summer, the Giants will have an extended period to get a contract worked out with the anchor of their offensive front down the road.