Mar 182021
 
Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars (December 27, 2020)

Mike Glennon – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN MIKE GLENNON
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Mike Glennon (Jacksonville Jaguars). Terms of the deal are not yet known.

The 31-year old, 6’7”, 225-pound Glennon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The well-traveled Glennon has spent time with the Buccaneers (2013-2016), Chicago Bears (2017), Arizona Cardinals (2018), Oakland Raiders (2019), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2020). He has played in 34 regular-season games with 27 starts, completing 61 percent of his passes for 6,235 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. Glennon is only 6-21 as starter however. With the Jaguars in 2020, he started five games, completing 111-of-179 passes (62 percent) for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions.

For a complete overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

GIANTS SIGN KYLE RUDOLPH
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed free agent tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was cut earlier this month by the Minnesota Vikings. The New York Post and SNY are say the contract is a 2-year deal worth up to $14 million.

The 31-year old, 6’6”, 265-pound Rudolph was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In 10 seasons with the Vikings, Rudolph has played in 140 regular-season games with 132 starts, catching 453 passes for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2017. Last year in 2020, Rudolph missed the last four games of the season with a foot injury but started 12 games, catching just 28 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown.

For a complete overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

LEONARD WILLIAMS ADDRESSES THE MEDIA
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who just signed a new 3-year, $63 million contract with the Giants, addressed the media on Thursday. The transcript of his press conference is available in The Corner Forum.

Mar 172021
 
Ifeadi Odenigbo, Minnesota Vikings (December 6, 2020)

Ifeadi Odenigbo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN IFEADI ODENIGBO
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo (Minnesota Vikings) to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal. The Vikings chose not to tender Odenigbo as a restricted free agent.

The 26-year old, 6’3”, 258-pound Odenigbo was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Vikings. After spending his rookie season on the Practice Squad, Odenigbo played in 32 regular-season games at defensive end with 15 starts from 2018 to 2020, accruing 57 tackles and 10.5 sacks. All of his 15 starts occurred in 2020 when he was credited with 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He will likely transition to outside linebacker (edge rusher) with the Giants.

KENNY GOLLADAY WILL VISIT GIANTS
Multiple media outlets are reporting that unrestricted free agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Detroit Lions) will visit the New York Giants, possibly as early as Thursday. Golladay is widely regarded as one of the best free agents available.

The 27-year old, 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. After a nondescript rookie season, Golladay excelled his next two seasons, catching 70 passes for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019. Golladay missed 11 games in 2020 with hamstring and hip injuries. He finished with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games. Golladay combines excellent size and speed and has a knack for beating defensive backs for contested 50/50 balls.

Mar 172021
 
Devante Downs, New York Giants (October 22, 2020)

Devante Downs – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS RE-SIGN CASEY KREITER…
The New York Giants have officially re-signed unrestricted long snapper Casey Kreiter. Terms of the deal are not yet known.

The Giants signed Kreiter as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April 2020. The 6’1”, 250-pound Kreiter was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. After spending two camps with the Cowboys, Kreiter made the Denver Broncos in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl for his performance in 2018.

For a complete overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

GIANTS DO NOT TENDER DEVANTE DOWNS…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have chosen to not tender linebacker Devante Downs as a restricted free agent, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. Downs can now freely sign with any team without the Giants having the right to match any contract offer or possibly receiving compensation if he signs with another team.

Downs began the season as a starter in 2020, but saw his playing time give way to rookie Tae Crowder. Downs played in all 16 games with eight starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 33 tackles, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.

The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived him in late September 2019 and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad and 53-man roster in October 2019. Downs played in seven games for the Giants in 2019 on special teams.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON NATE SOLDER’S PAY CUT…
The Athletic is reporting on more specifics of the pay cut recently accepted by offensive tackle Nate Solder in order to remain with the New York Giants. Solder’s base salary was reduced from $9.9 million to about $4 million, creating approximately $6 million in salary cap space. His overall 2021 cap hit was reduced from $16.5 million to about $10.5 million. Had the Giants cut Solder or had he retired before June 1st, the same amount of cap space would have been created.

The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In March 2018, the Giants made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they signed him away from the Patriots as unrestricted free agent. However, despite 32 straight starts at left tackle for New York, Solder’s play has been inconsistent at best with the Giants.

Mar 162021
 
Leonard Williams, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS RE-SIGN LEONARD WILLIAMS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed free agent defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a 3-year, $63 million contract that includes $45 million in guaranteed money. The Giants placed the non-exclusive Franchise tag on Williams last week, which tied up over $19 million in this year’s cap. The new deal reportedly will drop his cap hit to around $11 million in 2021.

The 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Giants acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019. In his sixth NFL season, Williams had his best year as a pro in 2020. Williams played in all 16 games with 12 starts (74 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.

GIANTS SIGN JOHN ROSS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver John Ross (Cincinnati Bengals) to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract that includes $1 million in guaranteed money.

The 25-year old, 5’11”, 194-pound Ross was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In four seasons with the Bengals, the speedy Ross played in just 27 games with 20 starts, accruing 51 catches for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. In addition to not performing up to expectations in Cincinnati, Ross spent time on Injured Reserve with shoulder and foot injuries in 2019 and 2020.

GIANTS SIGN CULLEN GILLASPIA…
The New York Giants have signed fullback Cullen Gillaspia, who was waived/failed physical by the Houston Texans last week. The 25-year old, 6’2”, 235-pound Gillaspia was drafted by the Texans in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In two seasons with the Texans, Gillaspia played in 23 regular-season games with no starts. He has not carried the ball in a regular-season game and only has one catch for six yards. To date, he has played mainly on special teams. Gillaspia missed half of 2020 with a back injury.

Mar 162021
 
Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

DALVIN TOMLINSON SIGNS WITH MINNESOTA VIKINGS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson has signed with the Minnesota Vikings. The deal is reportedly a 2-year, $22 million contract that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

For the past two seasons, Tomlinson served as the Giants’ primary nose tackle. In 2020, he started all 16 games, playing 60 percent of all defensive snaps, and was credited with 49 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and four pass defenses.

The Giants drafted Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Tomlinson has started all 64 games since he was drafted and has played both 3- and 1-technique roles with the Giants.

Mar 152021
 
Austin Johnson, New York Giants (October 4, 2020)

Austin Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS RE-SIGN AUSTIN JOHNSON…
The Athletic is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Austin Johnson to a 1-year, $3 million contract that is fully guaranteed and includes an additional $500,000 in incentives.

The Giants signed Johnson as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in March 2020. He played in all 16 games, with no starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps), and was credited with 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, one quarterback hit, one pass defense, and one forced fumble.

The 6’4”, 314-pound Johnson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Titans. In four seasons in Tennessee, Johnson played in 58 regular-season games with 13 starts, compiling 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and five pass defenses.

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN DEVONTAE BOOKER…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent running back Devontae Booker (Las Vegas Raiders) to a 2-year contract that could be worth as much as $6 million. The 28-year old, 5’11”, 219-pound Booker was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He signed with the Raiders in May 2020. In five seasons, Booker has played in 77 regular-season games with seven starts, rushing the ball 382 times for 1,526 yards (4 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns. He also caught 122 passes for 956 yards and one touchdown.

KEVIN ZEITLER SIGNS WITH THE BALTIMORE RAVENS…
Offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, who the Giants cut last week in a salary cap move, has signed a 3-year, $22 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, including $16 million in guaranteed money. Until his contract was terminated, Zeitler was scheduled to earn $12 million in base salary and count $14.5 million against the 2021 salary cap with the Giants. The move saved the Giants $12 million in cap space, although it cost $2.5 million in dead money.

Mar 142021
 
Nate Solder, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – NATE SOLDER AGREES TO ACCEPT PAY CUT TO RETURN TO GIANTS…
The NFL Network is reporting that left tackle Nate Solder has “agreed in principle” to a re-structured contract in order to remain with the New York Giants. The NFL Network says that the details of the new deal are still being worked out, but Solder will return to the team in 2021 “barring any last-minute hiccups.”

Solder, who soon turns 33, was scheduled to count $16.5 million against the 2021 salary cap. Solder has two years left on the 4-year, $62.1 million contract he signed in 2018, with scheduled base salary payments of $9.9 million in both 2021 and 2022. His 2020 salary was voided and postponed until 2021 due to his COVID-19 opt out. In addition, Solder’s previous starting spot was taken over by 2020 1st-round draft pick Andrew Thomas. Had the Giants cut Solder or he had retired before June 1st, the team would have been charged with $10.5 million in dead money and cleared $6 million against the 2021 NFL salary cap.

The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In March 2018, the Giants made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they signed him away from the Patriots as unrestricted free agent. However, despite 32 straight starts at left tackle for New York, Solder’s play has been inconsistent at best with the Giants.

Mar 122021
 
Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

As is always the case, there are fans of the New York Giants who are optimistic about the team’s future while there are others who are pessimistic. That’s just human nature. Regarding the 2021 edition of the franchise, the optimism is largely based on confidence in Head Coach Joe Judge and his staff. The negativity is mainly due to a lack of faith in ownership and the front office. But a cursory review of the existing roster doesn’t help either.

The Cliff Note’s version of this article is that the roster is still a mess.

The most damning thing about the franchise is that the Giants seem to have been in “rebuilding” mode for a decade. And they don’t seem to be REALLY further along in that rebuilding effort than they were 10 years ago. Much of that has to do with the fact that John Mara, Steve Tisch, and two general managers would not accept that the team needed a complete rebuild. At least not publicly. If they felt that way privately, then their level of incompetence is frightening. To be blunt, the team has been spinning its wheels for years. We all know it.

The core problem is easy to diagnose. The team has drafted poorly. They have attempted to compensate for that by overpaying for often mediocre talent in free agency. That has not only tied up immediate cap space but created additional burdens in future years with millions of dollars in dead money. A common refrain heard from fans defending team management is, “What choice did the GM have? He had to overpay because not doing so would have been worse!” This is a loser’s argument. And that’s what the team has become, a losing franchise.

So the 6-10 New York Giants approach free agency with little cap room once again and over $10 million dead money wasted. If the team is ever going to stop this vicious cycle, it needs to draft better and stop trying to compensate in free agency with ridiculous contracts. It’s not just the foolish high-profile signings such as when the team made Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in football but the under-the-radar contract such as giving a 3rd-string tight end (Levin Toilolo) a 2-year, $6.2 million deal. Stupid. Indefensible. The “what choice did they have” argument looks pretty foolish in hindsight.

Now to be fair, the team’s two high-profile signings in 2020 appear to have been smart decisions. CB James Bradberry and LB Blake Martinez were major positive additions to the team Bradberry went to the Pro Bowl and Martinez is arguably the team’s best inside linebacker since Antonio Pierce. But it came at a cost in the form of $74 million spread out over three years. And both will have to continue to justify those contracts. After 2016, fans were applauding the $194 million given to CB Janoris Jenkins, NT Damon Harrison, and LB Olivier Vernon. That tune changed quickly after only one season. And those contracts sabotaged the team for years.

Hopefully my point is obvious. Be careful. Spending tens of millions of dollars in free agency rarely ends up well. It feels good initially, but the team often finds itself right back where it started, with its wheels spinning in the mud.

QUARTERBACKS: Daniel Jones remains the starter. But 2020 back-up Colt McCoy is currently an unrestricted free agent. So there is a greater need here than many realize. Daniel Jones gets hurt and misses games. The team will likely re-sign McCoy or sign another veteran. (Need Level – Medium)

RUNNING BACKS: Aside from depth, after the 2018 season, the New York Giants seemed set at this position for the foreseeable future after Saquon Barkley’s superlative rookie season. But after two injury-plagued seasons, including injuries to his ACL, MCL, and meniscus last year, his future with the team is very much in doubt with his contract expiring after the year. Worse, the next three running backs on the depth chart (Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis) are all unrestricted free agents and there is a decent chance that none will be re-signed. That leaves Taquan Mizzell, Jordan Chunn, and fullback Eli Penny. Oh boy. (Need Level – High to Desperate) 

WIDE RECEIVERS: This position is bordering on disaster. Golden Tate flopped in 2020 and was cut this offseason. That leaves Sterling Shepard, a perpetual tease who is possibly one concussion away from retirement, and sophomore slump victim Darius Slayton, who only caught 12 passes after the bye week. Dante Pettis and C.J. Board are waiver-wire pick-ups. The other four receivers were undrafted and two of those have already been cut by other teams. Dave Brown had better receivers to work with in the 1990s and that’s saying something. (Need Level – Desperate)

TIGHT ENDS: If Evan Engram was the player the front office and coaching staff says he is, the team would be in decent shape at this position. But he’s not. I pray I am ultimately proven wrong about Engram, but it’s been four years since he was drafted. He is a tease who disappears for long stretches and comes up small in the clutch. Engram is a “receiving” tight end who isn’t particularly good at that aspect of the game. He had ONE touchdown in 2020. And yet the coaching staff keeps saying they can build an offense around him? Put down the crack pipe! Kaden Smith and Levine Toilolo are average-at-best back-ups. Neither scored in 2020. The Giants only had one touchdown from their tight ends last year. Wow. (Need Level – Desperate)

OFFENSIVE LINE: How you view this position depends on your level of confidence in the young guns. Understandably, Giants fans have little faith in the ability of the team to “fix” the offensive line because they have been unable to do so in 10 years of drafting and free agency. In addition, the Giants enter 2021 with a new offensive line coach who has never coached at the pro level, and multiple cooks in the kitchen who will advise him (Freddie Kitchens, Ben Wilkerson, Pat Flaherty). The good news is that Andrew Thomas, Nick Gates, Shane Lemieux, and Matt Peart did show flashes of real ability. The ups and downs were to be expected by green players with no real training camp and no preseason. The team cut Kevin Zeitler so Lemieux and the player he replaced, Will Hernandez, will likely start at guard unless the team signs a veteran or drafts an impressive rookie. It also appears the Giants will bring back Nate Solder on a reduced contract to compete with Peart at right tackle. Depth is not terrible with the likes of Jonotthan Harrison, Cam Fleming (if re-signed), and the loser of the Peart/Solder competition. The real pressing question here is guard and much depends on Lemieux and Hernandez. (Need Level – Medium)

DEFENSIVE LINE: The Giants will be in really good shape at his position IF they can re-sign their three free agents: Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Austin Johnson. Combined with Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, and R.J. McIntosh, this is young, big, strong group. Williams was franchised and will be back unless both sides can’t agree to a long-term deal and his tender is rescinded (a possibility). Tomlinson is key. Many fans and pundits say the Giants should not invest too much money in 3-4 defensive linemen. They could be right. And overpaying for your own talent is just as bad as overpaying for someone else’s. That said, the Giants have a long recent history of drafting defensive tackles in the 2nd round only to see them walk in free agency and then having to replace them again in the draft. What did I say about spinning wheels? If Tomlinson and Johnson don’t re-sign, the team will have to move Dexter Lawrence to nose tackle and/or sign or draft replacements again. A team with so many holes at so many positions can ill-afford creating more holes at the few positions where they have some strength. Tomlinson is a good player and a good influence in the locker room. He would be my free agent priority. (Need Level – Low to High Depending on Tomlinson)

LINEBACKERS: Really this position needs to be divided into inside linebackers and edge rushers (outside linebackers).

Blake Martinez was a major addition to the team as a player and leader. He played virtually every defensive snap and finished the season with a team-high 151 tackles, nine tackles for losses, three sacks, six quarterback hits, five pass defenses, one interception, two forced fumbles. Finding his counterpart inside is the challenge. David Mayo was cut. The last player taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tae Crowder, stole the starting job away from Devante Downs. On paper, Crowder appears to be a good, athletic complement to Martinez. But insurance and depth are needed. Keep in mind that T.J. Brunson is still in the picture as well. (Need Level – Medium)

The problem for the Giants is that they were deprived of a key evaluation year for Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. Both earned starting jobs but both were lost for the bulk of the season. Worse, Carter is coming off a serious ruptured Achilles’ tendon injury. Kyler Fackrell was a nice complementary piece who could play inside or outside, but he’s an unrestricted free agent. What the Giants really lack on defense are outside edge rushers who scare the other team. They were reduced to a committee approach in 2020, employing role players such as Jabaal Sheard (unrestricted free agent) and rookies Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and Niko Lalos. Some have questioned just how important an outside rusher is in the Giants’ scheme, but no team would ever turn down an outside pass-rushing threat. (Need Level – High)

CORNERBACKS: James Bradberry was everything the Giants had hoped, but it is a minor miracle the defense performed as well as it did with the revolving door at cornerback opposite of him. Corey Ballentine, Isaac Yiadom, Ryan Lewis, and Julian Love all took their turns. All have significant warts (and Ballentine is gone). Darnay Holmes will likely remain the nickel corner. There are whispers that the Giants are not really counting on COVID-19 opt-out Sam Beal. If Bradberry were to go down, this would arguably be the worst group of corners in the NFL. The Giants don’t just desperately need another starter, they desperately need quality depth. (Need Level – Desperate)

SAFETIES: This position has been a chronic weakness for the team but seems more settled now due to the additions of Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, and Logan Ryan. Peppers and Ryan have their issues, but they make plays and the coaching staff seems to know how to use them. McKinney missed most of the season due to injury but flashed in limited playing time. Ideally, this position would also be addressed but there are simply too many other needs elsewhere. (Need Level – Low)

KICKERS/LONG SNAPPER: 33-year old Graham Gano had one of the greatest seasons in franchise history as a kicker. However, Riley Dixon saw his gross and net punting average decline. Veteran long snapper Casey Kreiter is an unrestricted free agent. (Need Level – Low to Average Depending on Kreiter)

SUMMARY: It’s weird. In many ways, I feel more optimistic about this team than I’ve done in years, largely because of Joe Judge and his staff. But this roster is a train wreck. I have never published a “needs” article with so many “desperate” categories. You would be hard pressed to find a worse group of wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL. At running back, the only thing the Giants have is Barkley, who is coming off a potential career-altering injury. The defense is not in great shape either with obvious significant needs at cornerback and outside linebacker.

That all said, if the Giants spend a lot of money to fix these problems in March and April, I guarantee you that I will be typing a similar article in 2023, and probably with a new coaching staff.

Mar 122021
 
Nate Solder, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN C.J. BOARD…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed restricted free agent wide receiver C.J. Board. The Giants claimed Board off of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars in August 2020. He surprisingly played in 14 games, including four starts, but only finished with 11 catches for 101 yards and no touchdowns.

The 6’1”, 181-pound Board was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Tennessee Titans (2017), Cleveland Browns (2017-2018), and Jaguars (2018-2019). Before coming to the Giants, his only regular-season experience came in 2019 when his played in four games for the Jaguars and finished the year with just two catches for 31 yards.

REPORT – NATE SOLDER MAY RETURN AT REDUCED PRICE…
The Athletic is reporting that left tackle Nate Solder might remain with the New York Giants as both sides are discussing a re-structured contract. Solder, who soon turns 33, is currently scheduled to count $16.5 million against the 2021 salary cap. Solder has two years left on his current contract with scheduled base salary payments of $9.9 million in both 2021 and 2022.

Solder opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 issue and his starting spot was taken over by 2020 1st-round draft pick Andrew Thomas.

The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In March 2018, the Giants made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they signed him away from the Patriots as unrestricted free agent. However, despite 32 straight starts at left tackle for New York, Solder’s play has been inconsistent at best with the Giants.

 

Mar 102021
 
Kevin Zeitler, New York Giants (September 3, 2020)

Kevin Zeitler – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT KEVIN ZEITLER…
The New York Giants have announced that they have terminated the contract of right guard Kevin Zeitler, who was scheduled to earn $12 million in base salary and count $14.5 million against the 2021 salary cap. The move saves the team $12 million in cap space, although it will cost $2.5 million in dead money.

Zeitler was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed a 5-year, $60 million contract with the Browns in March 2017, which at the time made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. The Giants acquired Zeitler by trade from the Cleveland Browns in March 2019 in exchange for linebacker Olivier Vernon. Zeitler started all 16 games at right guard for the Giants in 2020 and 15 in 2019.