The Giants traded center Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings for a seventh-round pick, the team announced Sunday.
Jones, 27, has played in 30 games with New York over the past two seasons, including 13 starts last year after Weston Richburg suffered an injury.
The move not only clears $2.9 million in cap space for the Giants, but also makes Jon Halapio, a 27-year-old offensive lineman entering his second NFL season who played 10 games with New York last year, the team's starting center.
"I'm just happy for him," Halapio told reporters on Sunday. "It sucks to see my friend go and that's the tough part about this business. ... He gets an opportunity to go out there and play and display his talents and what he brings to the game."
Jones was a great story when he came down from Canada and turned himself into the Giants' starting center, but he never became a great player. He was average at best, which is why trading him even for a seventh-round pick was a no-brainer of a move for the Giants.
First, the trade cleared $2.9 million in salary cap space for the Giants, and they desperately needed that space for the regular season. They actually had fewer than $1 million in cap space as of Sunday, according to NFL Players Association records -- the lowest total in the NFL by far. They'll need much more than that as the season goes along and players start getting hurt.
Secondly, Jones had already been relegated to the bench, having lost his starting job to Halapio. Sure, he could've been a valuable reserve on a line that isn't deep at all, but $2.9 million is a lot to play for a bench player. Now, it looks like veteran Jon Greco will be the backup center. He's a cheaper option and probably just as good.
Maybe most importantly, now all that basically remains from the Giants' offensive line mess of the last two years is right tackle Ereck Flowers - at least for now. And anyone who saw the line play in the last two years knows that cleaning house there is a very good thing.