Could Russell Okung be the Giants free agent consolation prize?
Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung (73) pass protects in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Giants miss out on Andrew Whitworth, could Russell Okung be the fallback option?

In 2016, the New York Giants missed out on acquiring several offensive linemen. This was mainly due to their refusal to offer any of them the possibility to compete with Ereck Flowers for the team’s starting left tackle gig.

Yet, fast forward a year later and things have definitely changed. The Giants are no longer firmly committed to Flowers as their left tackle of the future, opening the door to the possibility the team will bring one in via free agency.

Long-time Cincinnati Bengal Andrew Whitworth is the clear top offensive lineman on the market. Though the Giants will certainly have interest, it is likely Whitworth will ultimately re-sign with the Bengals. If that does end up being the case, tackle Russell Okung could be the backup plan for Big Blue.

Last offseason the Giants flirted with the idea of signing Okung to their squad. However, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement as the team refused to offer Okung a shot to be their left tackle. This time around things should be different, though.

Okung is Pro Football Focus’ fourth highest graded tackle on the free agent market with a 73.5 mark. That also makes him the second to Whitworth as the best full-time left tackle available.

Though not a superstar caliber grade, Okung’s performance well topped that of Flowers, who finished with a PFF mark of 48.4. The Giants would be wise to take another long look at the former Seattle Seahawk, as they a clearly desperate need at the position.

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