The search for talented and effective offensive linemen continues. It really never seems to stop for the New York Giants.
They've been trying to fix their offensive line now for several years. It's not an easy task, and they're at it again this offseason after finishing 29th in the NFL in rushing offense in 2016 and allowing endless pressure to disrupt quarterback Eli Manning off the edges.
The Giants as currently constituted are shy a starting right guard and an established and proven offensive tackle (either on the left or right side). They didn't land either on the opening day of free agency, in large part because they didn't have the available funds. The Giants aren't flush with cash this offseason and, if you paid attention, teams needed a lot of that to pick at the top end of the offensive-line market this year.
General manager Jerry Reese is left to hit up Walmart (not that anything is wrong with Walmart. It's one of my favorite stores). He'll be looking for bargains on the secondary market or scrap heap in the next few days or months.
This was the Giants' plan heading into free agency. They knew they weren't going shopping at the high-end boutique. They predicted that tackles Rick Wagner, Riley Reiff and Andrew Whitworth were out of their price range, even if they marginally monitored the market. They knew guards Kevin Zeitler, Ronald Leary and Larry Warford would cost too much.
As the offensive-line market resets after a whirlwind first day of free agency, here is what the Giants have left to scour:
Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars): He struggled at left tackle for the Jaguars in 2016 after some decent seasons with the Steelers. Beachum's ceiling might be as an average tackle at this point, but at least he has proved to be NFL-starting caliber, with 54 starts in 59 career games. There is also hope the 27-year-old plays better in his second season back after suffering a torn ACL in 2015.
Ryan Clady (Jets): He was released last month as a salary-cap casualty. Clady had a $1 million bonus and $10 million base salary the Jets weren't going to carry into the new year. Injuries have really held the 30-year-old back in recent years. He's a big injury risk.
Menelik Watson (Raiders): He was in and out of Oakland's starting lineup last season. Injuries have really hampered him throughout his career. But the 28-year-old's run-blocking ability could be enticing to the Giants as a right tackle. And maybe with a little luck, they could have something.
Mike Remmers (Panthers): He's destined to find a new home after Carolina signed tackle Matt Kalil on Thursday. Remmers has experienced ups and downs during his time as a starter with the Panthers, especially while being exposed in the Super Bowl by Denver star Von Miller. He's also a better run-blocker than pass-blocker, which wouldn't be terrible for the Giants.
Austin Pasztor (Browns): He started all 16 games for Cleveland last season with varied degrees of success. The 26-year-old is probably best suited to be a swing tackle.
Sebastian Vollmer (Patriots): He missed all of 2016 because of shoulder and hip injuries, and New England elected to let him walk instead of paying him $2.25 million. That pretty much says it all. There might not be much left in his soon-to-be 33-year-old body.
Marshall Newhouse (Giants): He was signed to be a swing tackle and started 20 games in two seasons with the Giants. The 28-year-old was good in spurts but often struggled in 2015 as a pass-blocker when he was a full-time starter. He has had conversations with the Giants and they left open the possibility of a return.
T.J. Lang (Packers): By far the best option on the market, and the 29-year-old will be paid accordingly as long as his surgically repaired hip cooperates. The Pro Bowler is set to visit the Lions and Seahawks. They need to see him first. He's probably too costly for the Giants.
Tim Lelito (Saints): He failed to impress as a part-time starter in New Orleans in 2016. The Saints decided to upgrade with the addition of Larry Warford instead of bringing him back. Lelito, 27, is a borderline starting guard.
D.J. Fluker (Chargers): He underachieved as a first-round pick in San Diego, first at tackle and then at guard; he was a below-average starter. The Chargers cut the soon-to-be 26-year-old earlier this week. A change of scenery could do him good.
John Jerry (Giants): The incumbent at right guard had one of his better seasons. He again was a better pass-blocker than run-blocker. The Giants have had talks about bringing the 30-year-old back. It remains a possibility.
Jahri Evans (Saints): He's not the player he once was but came back last season and was surprisingly effective. The 33-year-old was a solid pass-blocker.
Stefen Wisniewski (Eagles): His one season in Philadelphia didn't work out. The 27-year-old lost his starting job but has proved to be an above-average starter in the right situation. Maybe that right situation is with the Giants.