Yesterday, the Giants cut 2 of their 5 offensive line starters (Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert) as well as their first guy off the bench (Shawn Andrews). Andrews’ release wasn’t surprising at all, and if the Giants had cut either O’Hara OR Seubert, it wouldn’t have been a major surprise. Cutting both certainly was. The Giants previously had the oldest OL in the NFL. Well, they’re not the oldest anymore, but it leaves the Giants offensive line with the following issues:
– They have no viable center. The first guy in line to start at center, as the roster currently stands, is Adam Koets, who tore his ACL last November and is still recovering. Koets has appeared in just 11 games and started 4 in his 4 year career.
– They have a major question mark at LT. William Beatty was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 to be the future LT. So far, he’s been a disappointment. He lost a training camp battle to David Diehl last season, and when Diehl went down with an injury, it was Andrews, not Beatty, that subbed in. Beatty eventually got a chance to play when Andrews also got hurt. I’ve heard people say Beatty played great in his limited opportunities last season, citing the fact that he didn’t give up any sacks. However, in 168 snaps played last season, Beatty had a whopping 6 penalties, or… a penalty every 28 plays. To put that in perspective, Chris Snee played 1099 snaps last season. At a rate of a penalty every 28 palys, Beatty would have had 39 penalties playing a full season.
– Almost no depth. I would project the Giants OL, as currently constructed, to look like this:
LT – William Beatty, LG – David Diehl, C – Adam Koets?, RG – Chris Snee, RT – Kareem McKenzie
Their bench looks like this – Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus, James Brewer, Jamon Meredith. I would guess that Boothe is the first guy off the bench, no matter who goes down. He’d fill in directly for Diehl, Koets, and Snee if any of those guys went down. If either tackle went down, Diehl might kick out to tackle, with Boothe filling in at left guard. Not good.
– Even with the cuts, age concerns abound. After going 7 consecutive seasons of not missing a start, Diehl showed serious wear and tear last season, missing four games with nagging-type hip and hamstring injuries. His health has to be in question. Meanwhile, on the right side, while I believe Snee and McKenzie may very well be the best RG/RT tandem in the NFL, McKenzie is 32, and Snee is knocking on 30.
We’re only a day deep into free agency, so obviously a lot can change. But this is where we currently stand with the Giants’ OL. Did the Giants know they were going to cut O’Hara and Seubert back in April? If not… Why not? And if so, why wouldn’t they do more to address the OL in the draft? Maybe there’s a plan in place during this free agency period. Let’s see it, Jerry.
UPDATE: It appears part of Jerry Reese’s plan is to sign David Baas.