A lot of changes are going to be made to the New York Giants during the offseason, with a likelihood of mass overturn for the team’s roster which features 24 unrestricted free agents. But of those who will not be free agents, there’s one starter that should see his playing time diminish in 2014: center David Baas.
Ideally, the Giants would cut the disappointing, oft-injured offensive lineman. His cap number will jump up to over $8 million in 2014–valuable cap space that could be used elsewhere. There has been no indication of which way the Giants will go however, and as of right now, Baas is locked up through 2015.
Since signing a hefty five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Giants in 2011, Baas has missed 18 games with a variety of injuries. While his run blocking has usually been up to snuff, his lackluster ability to protect the passer leaves something to be desired. Not a single center in the NFL had a worse pass-blocking grade in 2012, per Pro Football Focus.
The 32-year-old center has not been worth the money and while he’ll still be earning a nice lump sum next season, the Giants shouldn’t risk putting him on the field. Backup Jim Cordle didn’t exactly star in Baas’ place this season, but he wasn’t worse either; Cordle is set to become a restricted free agent.
The Giants managed to finish the season at 7-9 despite a frustrating season that saw quarterback Eli Manning throw a franchise-record 27 interceptions. Many of those came as a result of substantial pressure from opposing defenses due to the offensive line’s inability to block in passing situations. The G-Men must improve in that department and Baas’ presence will not likely boost their chances.
Perhaps a shift to guard would benefit Baas? That will have to be something the Giants look into once the offseason officially gets underway should they decide to retain his services for another year.
Should they wish to improve in 2014, however, they would be wise to do whatever they can to ensure that Baas is kept off the field as much as possible. The Giants have too many weapons available in the passing game–even with the impending departure of receiver Hakeem Nicks–to waste opportunities due to subpar offensive line play.