It didn’t take long for the depth along the interior of the New York Giants’ offensive line to take a hit once 2023 NFL free agency kicked off on Monday, March 13.
To make matters worse, the Giants saw one of their key linemen leave for an NFC East rival, when the Washington Commanders signed Nick Gates to a three-year deal, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo: “Three years, $16.5 million with another $1.5 million for a max value of $18 million for Nick Gates with the #Commanders. Gets $8 million guaranteed.”
Three years, $16.5 million with another $1.5 million for a max value of $18 million for Nick Gates with the #Commanders. Gets $8 million guaranteed. https://t.co/fHDfHLQDbQ
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 13, 2023
As Garafolo pointed out, Gates suffered a near career-ending injury against Washington in 2021. Now he’ll get the chance to start for the team the Giants pipped to the playoffs in 2022.
Popular Giant Has Chance to Revive Career Within the Division
Gates was well-liked during his time as a member of Big Blue, with Dan Duggan of The Athletic calling him “one of the best guys to pass through the locker room during my time on the beat.”
Part of the respect Gates earned came from his miraculous comeback after breaking his tibia and fibia against Washington in Week 2 of the 2021 season. Seven surgeries before Gates made it back onto the field to start seven games for the Giants last season, making him arguably more deserving of winning the 2022 AP Comeback Player of the Year award than teammate running back Saquon Barkley.
While he was more of a depth body and swing player along the interior, Gates will get the chance to revert to his natural position with the Commanders, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:
Former Giants OL Nick Gates is signing with the Commanders, per source. Goes to the division rival with a chance to play center again.
Gates made the amazing comeback from a gruesome broken leg that happened in Washington .
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 13, 2023
Gates has the ability to be a more than competent pivotman for Washington. He had made the position his own with the Giants, having “started 17 consecutive games at center” before his injury, according to …read more