NY Giants sign center Jonotthan Harrison | What it means for Nick Gates

New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Giants signed center Jonotthan Harrison to a one-year contract worth $2 million Sunday, potentially setting the stage for a preseason battle for the starting job anchoring the offensive line in 2021.

News of Harrison’s signing was first reported by NFL Network.

Harrison, 29, is entering his eighth NFL season after initially signing as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts out of the University of Florida back in 2014.

Having appeared in 84 games, Harrison brings a wealth of experience to the interior of the NY Giants’ offensive line and just might push Nick Gates for the Giants‘ starting center job. In 679  snaps for the Jets in 2019, Harrison has allowed just five quarterback hits and 20 total pressures, but didn’t to surrender a sack.

Harrison did not play a snap in 2020.

Gates, meanwhile, was inconsistent in his first ever season playing center. After signing a contract extension with the Giants last summer, Gates allowed 16 total pressures and Pro Football Focus listed him as the NFL’s No. 28 ranked center.

It is entirely possible that the Giants are leaving the door open to release Kevin Zeitler, which would clear $12 million in cap space after triggering a $2.5 million dead-money charge this offseason. If the Giants move on from Zeitler, it is conceivable that Harrison could play center and Gates could slide to right guard,

where he produced a 77 overall grade in 2019.

As the Giants continue to rebuild one of the NFL’s most inconsistent offensive lines in front of quarterback Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, Harrison gives the organization optionality in 2021 along the interior.

Next. 5 offseason trade targets for Giants. dark

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.