Could the Giants go with Matthew Peart as their starting right tackle even if he lacks the proper experience?
The general manager and his front-office counterparts must make decisions in regard to the lack of consistent offensive weapons on the roster along with the futures of both Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. But the position group that might be getting overlooked is the offensive line — the unit underwent an improvement over the course of 2020 but possesses its fair share of question marks.
The answers to the majority of the aforementioned questions remain unknown, but in regard to the latter-most development, Gettleman provided some clarity Tuesday afternoon.
Thought it was real interesting that Dave Gettleman talked about a young offensive line and specifically said he would be comfortable starting Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart at tackle this season. Seemed to indicate this might be the plan, which in turn would exclude Nate Solder.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 9, 2021
Peart, the 2020 third-round selection out of UCONN (who greatly succeeded at the collegiate level) saw time at either tackle position last year, finding himself a part of the rotation the Giants utilized. The one game Peart started (at left tackle) was against Washington in Week 6 when 2020 first-rounder Andrew Thomas was benched for showing up late to a Saturday night meeting.
But that doesn’t mean Peart carries the necessary experience or ability to start in this league. He likely needs more time to learn the ins and outs of the position before taking on a noteworthy role, which means the Giants should be better off re-signing Cameron Fleming or acquiring another veteran tackle to be a short-term option.
And as ESPN’s Jordan Raanan notes at the end of the above tweet, this confidence in Peart could affect the ultimate future of Solder in East Rutherford. Despite carrying the most experience out of the available in-house tackles, the veteran is expensive, aging, and hasn’t played since 2019 (he opted out of the 2020 season). Solder’s cap hits over the next two seasons (the final two years of his current deal) are set to be $16.5 million and $18 million, respectively.
The Giants could save $6 million this offseason by parting ways with Solder, and amid the opportunity to employ another veteran tackle in 2021 who’s cheaper, doing so should be the route the team takes, whether it’s via the trade market or a simple release.
Time will tell how Big Blue attacks its right tackle dilemma. But if there’s one thing that’s probably set in stone right now, it’s the fact that Thomas will continue manning Daniel Jones’ blindside — no reason for the Giants to move him now and hinder his development at that crucial spot.