Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Training Camp is barely a couple of hours in, and the New York Giants are already making plenty of news. Not all of if it good news though, as the Giants will be saying goodbye to a well known player, but welcome back another.
The goodbyes are for right guard Chris Snee. After elbow surgery in addition to two hip surgeries in the past two seasons, Snee announced his retirement Monday prior to camp getting underway. Snee was a stalwart for the Giants along the offensive line for the past decade, being a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion.
He will be missed not only on the field, but in the locker room as well. There has been a lot of change over on the Giants roster, as they saw veteran leaders in the form of Justin Tuck, David Diehl, Terrell Thomas and Kevin Boothe already depart prior to Snee’s retirement. The Giants will be looking for a new voice in the locker room to provide that veteran leadership, even more so now with Snee out of the picture as well.
Replacing Snee will not be easy for the Giants, and it may come with more of a committee approach. Brandon Mosley will most likely have the first shot at becoming the starting right guard. He will face competition from John Jerry, a player the Giants signed in the offseason.
Another option could be 2014 second round pick Weston Richburg. Throughout spring practice and minicamp, Richburg played guard with the second team while J.D. Walton started at center. If Walton wins the starting job, Richburg could find his way into the starting lineup at guard if the Giants think that is the best option. The most likely scenario is Jerry and Mosley battling it out, with Richburg being a strong reserve option should be not beat out Walton from the start and he struggles at any point.
While losing Snee is a big blow, they did receive good news in the form of David Wilson. He had his meeting with doctors today, and he took to his twitter account to announce that he has been cleared for all activities.
This is a huge relief for the Giants, who now have good depth in the backfield. No one player will be expected to shoulder the load, but the newly signed Rashad Jennings should be the lead back. Expect Wilson, fourth round selection Andre Williams and veteran Peyton Hillis, if he makes the final roster, should all get some playing time as well. The return of Wilson does cloud the roster future of Michael Cox and Kendall Gaskins though, as both players will have to have strong camps to make the final 53-man roster.
The Giants may be able to find a spot for Wilson or Gaskins, or other younger guys like linebacker Dan Fox or defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, by releasing a specialist like Trindon Holliday. Wilson gives the Giants yet another option in the return game, making a specialist like Holliday a bit redundant. Holliday will have to show out in camp or risk the possibility of getting cut. In addition to Wilson, the Giants also signed Quintin Demps to return kicks, and could also use Odell Beckham Jr., Charles James, Rueben Randle or Jerrel Jernigan to return kicks as well.
Wilson will bring an added dimension to the offense for the Giants, and also gives them flexibility for their roster. There are no negatives to having Wilson cleared, as it gives them another talented player to deploy offensively and on special teams, and gives them some roster flexibility to help round out the roster and fill in remaining holes.