Moeller: Gettleman Proving His Point with O-Line

Dave Gettleman isn’t a politician.

He has kept his promise on how to restructure the Giants with a massive offensive line. And it hasn’t taken him long to do it.

The Giants had a huge bullseye around Carolina guard Andrew Norwell as their top prize, and Gettleman’s former connections with the franchise made it look like a done deal.

Ironically, though, Norwell joined former Giants’ boss Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville, and the Giants’ faithful were temporarily stunned.

But Gettleman stayed true to his street-tough bravado and quickly made  Patriots’ left tackle Nate Solder the highest-paid left tackle in the game with a four-year, $62 million deal.

This was the kind of blockbuster Giants’ fans expected. Solder was the driving force in keeping Tom Brady upright most of the time over the past seven years.

Suddenly, the Solder signing quickly overshadowed the loss of Norwell. Just think back on how Ereck Flowers was abused last season. Now, Flowers could survive on the right side of the line and use some of his girth.

Sure, Gettleman overpaid for Solder, but he and the Giants needed a hallmark move to re-establish their presence in the NFC.

He then turned around and returned the favor to the Jaguars when he added behemoth 327-pound guard Patrick Omameh, who started 13 games last season.  

Solder and Omameh will join holdover guards John Jerry and Jon Halapio, both of whom figured prominently last season. Veteran John Greco, who was signed late last season, also is back in the fold.

John Sullivan, a veteran starter at center for the Rams last season, is said to be a strong blip on the radar and he only had a $1 million deal in Los Angeles last season. Signing Sullivan gives them a sturdier option at center than Jerry, who stepped in last season.

The club could also bring guard D.J. Fluker back, as he provided steady play last season. Fluker reportedly could work well with the club’s tightened salary cap.

Former center Weston Richburg signed with San Francisco, and line statesman Justin Pugh appears to be out of the mix.

There also is the possibility the Giants could use their number two pick on a lineman, adding the likes of Oklahoma’s 6-7, 367-pound giant Orlando Brown or Notre Dame’s 6-5, 329-pound herculean

 Quenton Nelson.

However, Gettleman now can also turn his attention back to Saquon Barkley as the number two pick, which still looms as a very logical choice.           

From what we have seen so far from Gettleman in his pursuit of sizeable lineman, the reconstruction isn’t over.

Clear some more cap room and find some more big plows up front. Then draft Barkley to run behind them. Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur haven’t indicated anything contrary to believing in Eli Manning for a few more seasons.

The days of the Giants’ pitiful, patchwork offensive line are over.

Size will matter for the Giants. Gettleman doesn’t lie.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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