The Giants will be in the market for a new starting center now that Nick Gates is headed to Washington on a three-year deal with the Commanders.
Gates’ deal was first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and financial terms were not known at the time of publication. The news ends his tenure with the Giants after four years and puts a big question mark around the team at center and left guard.
Gates had taken snaps at both positions last season after returning from a devastating injury that occurred in 2021 in Washington. He needed multiple surgeries to repair the leg injury and eventually came off New York’s PUP list in October.
There was already an expectation that Gates would get significant interest during free agency. The Giants also have center Jon Feliciano as a free agent as well, meaning the team will need to fill both holes during the offseason to help newly re-sign quarterback Daniel Jones.
Gates had played 258 snaps at left guard and 132 at center last year for the Giants.
Bolstering the offensive line in front of Jones will be an important priority now for Joe Schoen and the rest of the New York front office. The Giants were ranked 14th by Pro Football Focus in run blocking and 24th in pass protection.
That wasn’t exactly what New York needed out of their line.
They do possess a few in-house options for next season in Ben Bredeson and Joshua Ezeudu. However, bringing in some outside help would be a better option after Ezeudu had his season cut short by injury and he had been struggling during his rookie season even before that.
All in all, Gates appeared in 44 games with New York during the course of his career after signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2018.