Back in May, free agent offensive tackle Jake Long visited the New York Giants in what was described as more of a meeting for the two sides to get to know each other. With news surfacing that Long visited the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, the Giants have reportedly decided to ramp up their interest in the former Pro Bowl left tackle.
The Giants' first team offensive line is currently set to feature rookie Ereck Flowers at left tackle and career journeyman Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Flowers is expected to undergo some growing pains, and Newhouse has really struggled in limited starts over the last few seasons. Last season, Newhouse allowed 16 quarterback pressures, hits and sacks in just 373 snaps. The Giants' interest in Long is real, and it makes sense that they could move to get a deal done soon now that the Falcons have entered the mix.
Long is no longer the dominant left tackle he once was. Still, at just 30 years of age, Long is a low risk investment with a lot to offer. Despite playing just seven games in 2014, Long finished as Pro Football Focus' 36th-best offensive tackle overall out of 84 qualifiers. In 2013, he started 15 games for the Rams and finished as Pro Football Focus' seventh-best offensive tackle overall, earning exceptionally high marks as a run blocker.
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Despite the upside to adding him to the line, the Giants are unlikely to engage in a bidding war for Long's services. Long has an extensive recent injury history. He tore his ACL in Week 8 of the 2014 season, and there have been whispers that he has undergone setbacks in his recovery. His 2013 season was also ended by a torn ACL in the same right knee as his most recent one. Long's injury history dates back even further -- he dealt with back, shoulder and biceps injuries during his tenure with the Dolphins.
With Giants training camp set to get underway on Thursday, if believe that Long could be the missing piece, then you should keep your eyes glued to the screen. A deal could be coming soon.