The New York Giants are in need of reinforcements along their offensive line after losing starting center Jon Feliciano in free agency. Feliciano signed a one-year deal with the 49ers on Monday, leaving the Giants in need of a new starter on the front line.
Granted, center was a position of need for New York even if they did re-sign Feliciano. But now the matter is more pressing and the Giants must explore options at the position to acquire this offseason.
3 centers the New York Giants could target in free agency
The Tennessee Titans recently released Pro Bowl center Ben Jones with a failed physical designation. Jones, entering his twelfth season in the NFL, is still considered one of the best players in the league at his position. The Giants could massively upgrade their offensive line by signing Jones if he is healthy.
However, considering the reason for his release, Jones’ health is a major question. In 2022, the Titans’ center missed five games because of a pair of concussions. This was the first injury-plagued season of his career, though, as Jones appeared in 160 of 161 possible regular season games from 2012 through 2021.
Jones surrendered just one sack in the 2022 season. At 33, he is still an effective player, however, Jones is the furthest thing from a long-term solution. The Giants may have interest in the veteran, but they would be wise to take a look at some younger options, too.
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Another veteran option for the Giants to consider is 29-year-old center Connor McGovern. As a starter for the New York Jets in 2022, McGovern brought stability to an otherwise inconsistent offensive line.
According to Pro Football Focus, McGovern has logged around 1,000 snaps in five straight seasons. He has never played in less than 15 games in a season throughout his career. The Giants would be signing a reliable, high-floor player in McGovern.
McGovern’s projected market value is $12.5 million on average annually, according to Spotrac. However, considering McGovern has been sitting on the open market for the past week, his price tag has surely been lowered by the league’s lack of interest. The Giants could target McGovern on a short-term contract to bring some stability to the interior of their offensive line.
While Ben Jones and Connor McGovern are two of the top free agent centers on the open market, Ryan Kelly of the Indianapolis Colts is the top trade target that is currently available. Kelly has been made available for trade, however, he could also be released before the start of the season as the Colts look to clear some cap space.
Kelly’s contract carries a salary cap hit of $12.4 million in 2023, which might deter the Giants’ interest. A deal for Kelly would likely need to include a reworked contract.
Kelly, 29, was selected to the Pro Bowl every year from 2019 to 2021. His play declined in this most recent season, however, prompting the Colts to explore alternatives. But Kelly is only one season removed from being considered one of the NFL’s best centers. The Giants could consider sending a mid-to-late-round draft pick in exchange for Kelly on a reworked deal to patch that hole in the middle of their offensive line.
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