The NFL Trade Deadline came and went on Tuesday at 4:00p.m. and just like in most years, not many teams were active in making a deal.
The sound you hear is the collective groan from the fan base of the New York Giants, who were interested in Joe Thomas from the Cleveland Browns, were the only team in the mix for him and were presented a possible deal to get the veteran; one in which they wouldn’t have to surrender a first round pick, which he’d be worth in NFL terms.
A second and third round pick is what the Browns were reportedly asking the Giants for in exchange for Thomas and instead of making the move to deepen their offensive line and essentially, strengthen it by adding an All Pro in Thomas, the Giants passed.
The Giants could have taken a struggling Ereck Flowers and moved him to the right side of the offensive line and put him at right tackle and put Thomas as the left tackle alongside Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg; the two strengths of the offensive line. But instead of making a bold move; one the Giants really should have made, the Giants instead decided to go with the as-is offensive line that they currently have.
Which means Flowers has to remain as the left tackle, and at times, he struggles, especially with the penalties against speedier edge rushers and Bobby Hart as the right tackle; Will Beatty has yet to play despite being available and ready off the bench.
For a general manager whose job is on the line this year in Jerry Reese, this was a horrible decision to make, or in this case, to not make because this was a no-brainer. The Giants have been trying to get offensive line help going all the way back to the offseason when they missed out on Donald Penn, Russell Okung, Mitchell Schwartz and Eugene Monroe and lost out on drafting Jack Conklin, which forced the Giants to keep Flowers at left tackle and at the time, keep Marshall Newhouse at right tackle before his injury.
In today’s NFL, a general manager treats a draft pick like it’s gold, and we get it. But Thomas is easily worth a second and third round pick. Ultimately, his skill level is worth a first round pick because good left tackles like Thomas are worth their value and the Browns offer was a fair one, and could have even been a bargain considering just how good Thomas is as an offensive lineman.
The Giants missed out at this year’s trade deadline and if Reese is lucky enough, he better hope that the Giants have a strong enough season that saves his job and allows him the chance to re-visit this trade again in the off-season. If Reese gets fired after the 2016 season, this is one of the non-moves he can look at as the reason why and if he keeps his job and try to make this deal later on, then he’s fortune.
But for right now, Reese missed big for the Giants in passing on Thomas, because this deal was a no-brainer for them to make.