NY Giants make decisions on two of their own before free agency

The NY Giants had until Monday to offer restricted free agent tenders to Aldrick Rosas and Jon Halapio; they only chose to keep one.

With the NFL’s legal tampering period beginning at 12 PM sharp on Monday, teams had to make their decisions on restricted free agent players. For the NY Giants, that meant decided whether or not to offer kicker Aldrick Rosas and center Jon Halapio tenders, and which tenders those would be.

We discussed Big Blue’s options when it came to Rosas earlier in the offseason, and GM Dave Gettleman wisely chose to slap a second-round RFA tender on his talented kicker. The second-round tender number is $3.3M for 2020, and it means another team would have to give up a second-round pick to the NY Giants if they were to try to sign Rosas — he’s not going anywhere.

If the team had tried to save about $1M and slip him through as an original-round tender they would have been playing with fire. Since Rosas is a former undrafted free agent (his ‘original’ round), any team could have attempted to sign him while giving up zero draft compensation.

Although Rosas struggled in 2019, he was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and dependable kickers are so hard to find in this day and age. You can bet one of the dozen-plus kicker desperate teams out there would have thrown a big offer his way. Hopefully, it really was just bad snaps and the fact that he didn’t kick much at the beginning of the year, and the fourth-year pro has a big 2020.

Jon Halapio, on the other hand, was not retained. The offensive lineman tore his Achilles in the season finale which was always going to put his 2020 season in doubt, although Gettleman claims that “Pio” had a shot to be ready for training camp in July. That could be the case, as the injury isn’t as serious for an offensive lineman as it is say for a basketball player, whom we routinely see miss over a year of action as it’s a much more common injury in that sport.

Even if Halapio was healthy, it made little sense to bring him back as anything other than a reserve. It’s unfair to point the finger at just one person, but Halapio’s struggles in the middle of the 2019 NY Giants offensive line were a big reason why the unit was so dismal.

A center is so much more important in football than most understand, and Halapio just was not the answer. The Giants will be looking to upgrade at the position in either free agency or the draft, with Spencer Pulley being the only player on the roster who’s ever played center in the NFL.