With the news that the Chicago Bears cut veteran guard Matt Slauson, Jerry Reese needs to get on the phone for his New York Giants right now.
By Jack Aylmer
The Chicago Bears recently released offensive guard Matt Slauson this past Sunday, and it’s no surprise the veteran who played all 1,083 offensive snaps for the Bears last season already has several free agent visits lined up.
Slauson’s reported stops will include the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, but the New York Giants would be wise to take a look at the 30-year-old.
New York raised eyebrows in the 2016 NFL Draft when they choose not to select a lineman on either side of the ball for the first time in the franchise’s history. While Big Blue did plenty to negate the need to draft a defensive lineman in the offseason with the signings of Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, the team has done little to solidify the protection of their franchise quarterback.
Enter Slauson, who only twice during his seven-year career has failed to start all 16 games, one such instance being during his rookie season.
For the Giants, he could be the team’s starting right guard from day one, usurping incumbents John Jerry and Bobby Hart. Grading out as Pro Football Focus’ fifth best center from last season after being pressed into the role with Chicago, Slauson also adds flexibility to the offensive line should starter Weston Richburg be forced to miss any time.
Slauson and the Giants look like a match made in heaven. New York can put a talented player to help sore up the right side of the line where currently Marshall Newhouse is the projected starting tackle.
Bobby Hart showed flashes during his rookie campaign, but banking on the former seventh round pick to take the leap to capable every day starter in his sophomore season seems like a risky bet. Meanwhile, we know what John Jerry is and what he is capable of. A fine player if he’s coming off your bench as a swing guard or tackle to give a guy a break during the course of a game, but he’s not a 16 game starting caliber player. Newly signed guard Ryan Seymour is essentially the same thing as well. Seymour is an intriguingly versatile lineman who can play all five positions, but has only played in 11 games (starting in three) during his three year NFL career.
The Giants have a chance to close out their 2016 offseason with a bang. They improved in almost every aspect of their team through free agency and the draft, but the offensive line is still a huge question mark.