The Giants are short on salary cap space. Now they're short on offensive linemen too.
Though it wasn't surprising, a hole was officially created on the right side of their line late Friday night when their former right tackle, Marshall Newhouse, reportedly signed with the Oakland Raiders. The Giants had been looking for an upgrade on the right side anyway. Now, they have no choice.
The problem, though, is their lack of cap space and the lack of options on the free-agent market. The NFL Players Association listed the Giants with slightly more than $8 million in cap space, but that was not including the contract for their new tight end, Rhett Ellison. The actual number is likely closer to $5 million - and they have a lot of holes to fill.
Still, with the potential to clear more cap room with cuts and restructured contracts, the Giants are shopping the market. They are planning to bring in D.J. Fluker for a visit this week, as SNY reported on Friday, and a source said they're serious about signing him if possible. Once the 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft, the 25-year-old was released by the Chargers earlier this week. A four-year starter at both tackle and guard he was scheduled to make $8.8 million in 2017.
It was not immediately known what position the Giants would want the 6-5, 339-pound Fluker to play, nor was it clear how much he would cost.
But they have a bigger problem if they can't find a way to afford Fluker: There aren't many quality offensive linemen left. Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang is still out there, but he has multiple suitors (Seattle, Detroit and Green Bay) which means his price will be steep. The Giants might have to take a chance on a player like former Jets tackle Ryan Clady, coming off a shoulder injury, or search on their own roster (Bobby Hart) or in the draft for help.
Newhouse started 20 games over the last two years for the Giants, mostly at right tackle. The Giants actually tried to replace him last offseason, but never landed any of the free agents they pursued. This past season Newhouse missed five games with a calf injury and temporarily lost his job to Hart. He also filled in at left guard for the injured Justin Pugh.