Was cutting Kevin Zeitler the Giants’ worst offseason move?

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The New York Giants made a ton of positive moves this past offseason in an effort to get their listing franchise back up and sailing in the right direction.

Additions to the offense in the form of playmakers (Kenny Golladay, John Ross, Kyle Rudolph, Kadarius Toney) have put them on an upward trajectory heading into the 2021 season.

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But not all moves were met with such positivity. The offensive line was not addressed. If anything, it was neglected. This has troubled many fans and reporters who cover the team.

“It’s too early to call this the ‘worst’ move, but neglecting the offensive line was easily the most surprising decision of the offseason,” writes beat reporter Dan Duggan of The Athletic. “The Giants dumped their most dependable offensive lineman, Kevin Zeitler, for cap purposes. That left an unproven group that experienced some growing pains last season.

“The Giants made only depth signings in free agency and didn’t select a single lineman in the draft. The franchise is comfortable with the young group that’s in place. That’s a gamble that may pay off. But it would be easier to share that optimism if the Giants had invested in a proven commodity in free agency or drafted a lineman with upside.”

The use of the word ‘gamble’ is apropos. The Giants’ offensive line went through an overhaul in 2020 and it wasn’t a success by any means. Rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas, playing in place of veteran Nate Solder (COVID-19 opt out) was a disaster early on and the decision to place Nick Gates — who had no experience at center — in the middle is still a dubious one.

The Giants need both of those players to show vast improvements this season and also need to hit on several other ‘projects’ for their offense to be successful. Two other second-year players (Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux) also need to show marked improvement and the Giants are also hoping guard Will Hernandez returns to form.

The Giants will get Solder back this summer but how much he has left is unknown. Plus, there is the question of which side he would play on.