- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Paul Schwartz of the New York Post is reporting that the New York Giants are "not near" a deal with pending free-agent left guard Kevin Boothe. With no obvious replacement on the roster and Boothe having played well last year, bringing him back would seem like an obvious move. But after signing left tackle Will Beatty to a long-term deal last week, the Giants still face a salary-cap crunch and have needs to address on defense as well as elsewhere on the offensive line.
The key thing to remember about the Giants' offseason is they are relentless prioritizers. They obviously saw Beatty as a top priority and got his deal done quickly. If left guard is not the next priority on the list, it's not a surprise that they haven't gotten anywhere yet with Boothe. It's entirely possible they're assessing what to do at safety and cornerback, where Kenny Phillips and Corey Webster present thorny offseason questions. It's possible they're making a plan to pursue a right tackle to replace David Diehl, and imagining James Brewer as a replacement at guard for Boothe if they should do that. It's possible the situations with wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and/or Victor Cruz are next on Jerry Reese's list of issues to resolve.
As many veterans have learned in recent years, the Giants do tend to stick to their price on positions of relatively low priority. It's possible they have a number in mind for Boothe and that, if he doesn't like it, they have a Plan B to which they can move on without regret. With lots to do and little cap room, New York is unlikely to be the place where Boothe can cash in on his solid 2012 season, if that's what he intends to do in free agency.