Seven months late, Jerry Reese is looking into adding an offensive tackle with NFL experience.
Unfortunately, it is Branden Albert, 32, a nine-year vet with deteriorated skills who abruptly retired then unretired from the Jaguars this summer, costing himself millions, before Jacksonville released him.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Albert visited the Seahawks on Tuesday but left without a deal and is headed next to the Giants later this week.
Albert is a former Chiefs 15th overall pick and a two-time Pro Bowler with 118 career starts. He played six seasons in Kansas City and then three in Miami before being traded in March to the Jags.
Branden Albert will meet with the Giants this week.
But on July 31, after skipping most of the Jaguars’ offseason program looking for a new contract, Albert strangely told the team he was retiring, walking away from $ 8.8 million in 2017 and $ 9.5 million in 2018. Then he had an equally-unexpected change of heart, but Jacksonville had had enough and moved on.
Albert presumably would be available at the minimum of $ 900,000 prorated for a veteran with his experience. And it’s possible Reese is interested because right tackle Bobby Hart’s injuries and resulting performance have made him an even greater liability recently than much-maligned left tackle Ereck Flowers.
Left guard Justin Pugh replaced the injured Hart Weeks 2 through 4 at right tackle, but the Giants’ interior line is shorthanded with top center Weston Richburg (concussion) out and they ran the ball best this season in Week 5 with Pugh at left guard, Brett Jones at center and D.J. Fluker at right guard.
Undrafted rookie tackle Chad Wheeler played well at left tackle in the preseason and blocked well on his two regular season snaps at right tackle in Tampa Bay in Week 4, temporarily replacing an injured Pugh.
If Reese needs to play another tackle, it would make sense to play the young Wheeler, not bring in a veteran with baggage like Albert. But we’re sure he has his reasons.
LIGHT AT THE END FOR DARKWA
Orleans Darkwa dealt with cramps near the end of the Chargers game on Sunday.
Orleans Darkwa rushed six times for 58 yards and a 23-yard touchdown in Sunday’s first quarter and received just two more carries the rest of the game. Coach Ben McAdoo said after the loss that Darkwa had “pulled up lower body” after the touchdown run.
Darkwa said Tuesday he experienced a cramping-type issue but felt he had rectified it by halftime. Rookie Wayne Gallman (11 carries, 57 yards) still averaged 5.2 yards per carry as the Giants’ leading rusher, and they ran the ball 25 times for a season-high 152 yards and a TD as a team. But hopefully Darkwa’s 8.6 yards per carry clip (eight for 69 total) finds its way back on the field.
The Giants signed wide receiver Ed Eagan to the active roster off the practice squad on Tuesday with their receiving corps decimated by injuries. Eagan, a childhood friend of Odell Beckham Jr.’s in New Orleans, is now listed as Sterling Shepard’s backup in the slot and as Shane Vereen’s backup on punt and kick returns.
Eagan (5-10, 193 pounds) originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in May 2016 and spent most of last season on the Bills’ practice squad. He is the Northwestern State (La.) career leader in receptions (177), receiving yardage (2,228), all-purpose yardage (5,651), kickoff returns (125) and kickoff return yardage (2,922).
NUTS AND BOLTS
The Giants on Tuesday also signed wide receiver Kalif Raymond and offensive lineman Ethan Cooper to their practice squad, and terminated the contract of offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano, who had been signed last week. Raymond played his college ball at Holy Cross. Cooper played at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is McAdoo’s alma mater.