There is no doubt about what the Giants' biggest offseason need is. They need to figure out a way to fix their offensive line.
With right tackle Marshall Newhouse heading to free agency (and not likely to return -- at least not as a starter) and left tackle Ereck Flowers having struggled so much the Giants are pondering their options with him, they could be in the market for two tackles. It seems a lock that they will try to go after at least one.
But which one? That's the problem. Neither the free agent market nor the top of the NFL draft are loaded with promising tackles. The best ones in free agency are either older, damaged, or play predominantly on the right side.
Now, the Giants do have options. Flowers could certainly end up in any of three positions -- left or right tackle or even inside as a guard. They potentially could move Justin Pugh back to right tackle, though that doesn't seem likely.
What does seem likely is that the Giants will at least dip into the free agent pool for a tackle to explore their options, and they'll be much more open to a left tackle (with Flowers moving to right) than they were last season. Here is a look at some of the tackles on the market they might consider. None of them, as you'll see, are ideal:
Andrew Whitworth (Bengals) - It may not sound like an ideal scenario to sign a 35-year-old left tackle, but in some ways it's an ideal situation. The 6-7, 330-pounder is a three-time Pro Bowler who is still one of the better left tackles in the NFL. And because of his age he might not cost the fortune that a top left tackle normally would on the free agent market. He's only going to be good for another couple of years, but the Giants are trying to win now before the Eli Manning Era is over. He could also be a mentor to struggling young Ereck Flowers, who could move to the right side for now and still be the left tackle of the future (assuming his play improves) when Whitworth leaves. Whitworth has said he wants to remain with the Bengals, but is also open to testing the market.
Ricky Wagner (Ravens) - He might turn out to be the most sought-after, high-priced offensive lineman on the market since he's coming off the best season of his career (albeit one that some scouts say was more erratic than it seemed). At 6-6, 310, he'd be an upgrade at tackle for the Giants, but he's a right tackle, which means they'd have to find a stop-gap on the left side or be content with Flowers staying there. Some people have guessed he'll get in the $10 million per year range, which seems like a lot for someone who's not playing the left side.
Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars) - The Jaguars recently declined their option on him, which was a financial decision more than anything else. Had they picked it up, he would've been due a guaranteed $18 million over the next two seasons. That's not terrible for a left tackle, but Beachum's plan slipped a little last season as he struggled to regain his old form after surgery to repair a torn ACL in 2015. He was essentially on a one-year, prove-it deal with the Jaguars. He's still only 28, though, and the farther he gets from his surgery it's certainly possible Beachum (6-3, 316) can get closer to his old self. He might not do another one-year deal, but his price shouldn't be high and the Giants could take a low, short-term risk.
Ryan Clady (Jets) - Clady is essentially in the same situation as Beachum, only he's older (he'll be 31 in September) and he's had many more injury issues, having played in just 27 of 64 games over the last four seasons. The Jets signed him to a one-year, prove-it deal and he ended up injuring his shoulder and missing half the season. He played reasonably well until then, though, and the Jets gave some consideration to bringing him back at a reduced rate. Could the Giants do it instead? Given the market, a one-year, prove-it deal for a the 6-6, 315-pound Clady isn't the worst idea. If they do it in conjunction with a high pick at tackle so he's holding a place until his replacement is ready, it could be a decent short-term fix (A better, but similar short-term fix, by the way, would be Russell Okung if the Broncos don't pick up his option. The Giants attempted to sign him last year).
Riley Reiff (Lions) - He's a slightly lesser version of Wagner, which means he also could come slightly cheaper. But not much. He's still only 28 and is 6-6, 305 and one of the better tackles in a weak market. He might end up in the $10 million per year range depending on how many people pursue him. But again, he presents the same issues that Wagner does. If he comes and plays the right side, Flowers would have to stay on the left or the Giants would have to go after a second new tackle. And if they're going to spend this kind of money, it likely doesn't make sense to spend it on someone who's not playing on the left.