It's going to be tough for the New York Giants when they don't have Chris Snee to count on anymore. Snee, the veteran offensive lineman who's had surgery on one of each of his hips the last two years, wants to come back and play one more season, but he's going to do everything he can to make the team's life easier.
Snee told SiriusXM radio over the weekend that he will take a pay cut to reduce his $6.75 million salary and $11.3 million cap number and that he'd be happy to stay on as a backup and mentor to younger players if someone were to beat him out for a starting job in camp. Per The Star-Ledger:
“I know my number is high,” Snee said Friday morning on SiriusXM NFL radio. “The most important thing is to be part of a winning team. My role is to take a pay cut to bring in guys to help the team.”
“I want to do what I can,” he said. “If I come back and somebody beats me out and I have to mentor the young guys, if that’s my role in this whole deal, I’m all for it. Whatever I can do to help things get back on the right path is my mindset."
I mean, right? What's wrong with this guy? All he cares about is that the team gets better, even if he has to make a lot less money and watch the games from the bench? How do you work with someone like this? Brutal.
In all seriousness, this is Snee being intelligent and aware. At that cap number, if he weren't willing to take a pay cut, the Giants would have to release him. And no one with the Giants was looking forward to having that conversation with this player. Snee has devoted 10 years (and two hips) to the Giants while making four Pro Bowls and helping deliver two Super Bowl titles. He's also a literal member of head coach Tom Coughlin's family, as husband to Coughlin's daughter and father to three of Coughlin's grandsons. Snee is a special case in a lot of ways, so even if there is an ugly ending down the road somewhere, the Giants aren't in a rush to get to it.
As for how much Snee can help in 2014, that remains to be seen. If he's healthy, even at 32 he's a better option than much of what they were using on the interior of the offensive line by the end of the 2013 season. So if the Giants can count on him, they can focus on upgrading at center and left guard and then, worst-case scenario, play around with solutions on the right side if Snee ends up unable to go. They also know they'll have him around to help if they pick another offensive lineman in the first round this year (as they probably should). Snee is a willing asset as an educator of young linemen, something the Giants lost when David Diehl retired last month. He'll help the overall offensive line picture for 2014, even if it's hard to say at this point exactly how.
Point is, the Giants are embarking upon a tough offseason with a lot of difficult choices. Having Snee around and determined to make their lives easier is a positive thing.