The New York Giants locked up free-agent left tackle Will Beatty before free agency started, but they still have yet to re-sign left guard Kevin Boothe. There's no real reason to panic, since free agency this year is quite clearly a buyer's market and Boothe hasn't signed anywhere yet. But veteran Giants right guard Chris Snee admits he's fretting a bit while he wonders whether his linemate will be back in 2013:
"I’ve been talking with Kevin, and I mean, it’s tough," Snee said. "Kevin is a good friend of mine and obviously I want him back. I think he’s a great player. He’s been very important to us the past couple years. But that’s not my decision to make, and I know Jerry Reese will put the best team out there he can. I hope it’s with Kevin Boothe."
"He’s not signed yet ... so I am concerned, but it’s out of my hands," Snee added. "The best I can do is just to be there for him as a friend and if he happens to move on, he’ll be a great addition to whatever team he goes to."
The thing with the Giants and their free agents is that they tend to set their own price and, if the guy doesn't like it, they move on to other options. They haven't signed anyone to replace Boothe yet, which means that they haven't yet moved on, and GM Jerry Reese has talked about internal options should Boothe leave. While he hasn't named those, they could include David Diehl and James Brewer, both of whom are also the current leading candidates to start at right tackle.
I think the Giants would do well to bring back Boothe and add a right tackle, as I think they've gone too long without addressing their line as a long-term issue. They've identified Beatty as a cornerstone at the most important position, but neither Diehl nor Brewer performed much beyond a backup level last year, and the idea that they would use both as starters in 2013 should be of concern to the Giants. I doubt they'll be in play for the top right tackles still out there on the free-agent market, but I wouldn't be surprised if they used an early draft pick on a tackle.