The Giants have to be judicious with their signings in this year’s NFL free-agency open marketplace, given their salary cap constraints. They do need to add players, though, specifically along their offensive line. They took a step — perhaps the biggest step they will take during this cycle — by agreeing to terms Monday with guard Mark Glowinski.
The deal is for three years and $20 million, with $11.4 million in guaranteed money.
A bit later on Monday night, the Giants added another lineman, signing Jon Feliciano to a one-year deal. Feliciano, released by the Bills last week, will be reunited with Brian Daboll, the new Giants head coach, and Bobby Johnson, the new Giants offensive line coach, from their three years together in Buffalo.
These are mid-level signings but it is about the best the Giants can muster, adding two solid starting players to a roster that was nearly devoid of proven offensive-line quality.
Glowinski started the past three years for the Colts at right guard, never missing a game, and he figures to step into the starting lineup at that spot for the Giants. The right guard last season, Will Hernandez, is an unrestricted free agent and the Giants’ 2018 second-round pick will look for work elsewhere.
Glowinski turns 30 in May. He is considered to be a much stronger run-blocker than he is a pass protector. In 2021, he allowed two sacks, eight quarterback hits and 38 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus and was ranked as the 21st guard in the league. Hernandez was ranked No. 60. Feliciano was No. 59.
An eight-year veteran, Glowinski was a 2015 fourth-round draft pick of the Seahawks out of West Virginia. After an up-and-down three years in Seattle, Glowinski was waived and picked up by the Colts. In 2019, he signed a three-year, $18 million contract extension.
Feliciano, 30, was signed to play center, as the expectation is Nick Gates will not be ready to return following several leg surgeries. Feliciano was a starter for the Bills at left and right guard, and he does have experience snapping the ball. In 2019, he played 104 snaps at center and in 2020 he played 203 snaps at center. He grew up in East Meadow on Long Island.
Along with Andrew Thomas at left tackle, the Giants now have three starters for their line. Perhaps Shane Lemieux, coming off a knee injury that limited him to one game in 2021, moves in at left guard. Still, there is more work to be done.
Maneuvers on Monday in free agency by teams ahead of the Giants in the first round of the draft could make it more likely that one of the premier offensive tackles drops to them the night of April 28.
Coming out of the scouting combine in Indianapolis, the perception was that Evan Neal (Alabama) and Ickey Ekwonu (North Carolina State) are the top offensive line prospects and that both could be taken before the Giants’ turn at No. 5. The way things developed in the start of free agency makes this less likely, which is good news for the Giants.
The Jaguars hold the No. 1 overall pick and on Monday they signed Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff, a move that could benefit the Giants in two ways. It removes a key player from Washington, an NFL East rival, and it decreases the need for the Jaguars to take an offensive lineman with the first pick. The Jaguars also put the franchise tag on offensive tackle Cam Robinson. This could open the door for the Jaguars to take Aidan Hutchinson, expected to be the first edge rusher selected.
The Jets took care of offensive line business with the signing of guard Laken Tomlinson, negating the notion they would take an offensive tackle at No. 4 and move him inside to guard for a year, with George Fant and Mekhi Becton positioned to be the starting tackles in 2022. The Jets are likely to go elsewhere with their first-round pick.
The Lions own the No. 2 pick. They took offensive tackle Penei Sewell with the No. 7 overall pick in 2021. Will they double down and take another tackle this year?
The Texans are at No. 3 and could go in any number of different directions.
Free agency, when used correctly, fills holes to allow teams to have more flexibility during the draft. The Jaguars and Jets now have that flexibility and this should enhance the Giants’ chances of landing Neal or Ekwonu. Unless, of course, they like Charles Cross of Mississippi State better than one or both of them. There is no doubt one of the three tackles will be there at No. 5.