New York Giants free agent target Andrew Whitworth will explore his options
Dec 11, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bengals won 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are in dire need of offensive line help and the top man on the market, Andrew Whitworth, will explore his options.

Cincinnati Bengals free agent left tackle Andrew Whitworth will reportedly explore his options outside his former employers according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News.

“I love Cincinnati and want to be there,” Whitworth told Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I’m pretty positive things will work out in a way that I’ll be there in the end. But I want to take advantage of the opportunity of being free and listening to what other people have to say. I think that’s the right way to do it.”

Though he’s getting up there in age at 35 years old, Whitworth is still a premiere tackle in the NFL. The long time Bengal finished 2016 as Pro Football Focus’ highest graded pass-blocker among tackles and second highest graded tackle overall. His stellar campaign culminated in the 11-year veteran’s third Pro Bowl selection.

New York Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese has made it clear he will address last season’s starter Ereck Flowers‘ sub-par performance this offseason. However, it’s unclear to what extent he will be willing to do this. Despite a rocky first two years to his NFL career, Flowers is still a first round pick. It’s unlikely Giants’ management is ready to move on completely from the Miami product just yet.

The ideal scenario would be to bring in a clear starting-caliber left tackle, allowing Flowers to move to the right side of the line. Whether New York can afford Whitworth, who will be looking for a contract in the ballpark of the $9 million annually he received last season, remains to be seen.

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