It’s not uncommon for a player in free agency to take a little less money from a team in order to stay in a desirable situation. They may have spent most of their career with a certain franchise, feel indebted to them in some way, or like the direction in which the team is headed. It’s often called a “hometown discount.”
But what about a player such as Jamon Brown, who has only been with the Giants since November? Can two months in New York qualify it as a hometown, nevermind the associated discount?
He thinks so.
As the guard heads into free agency for the first time in his career, he said he doesn’t know exactly what the future will hold.
“I’m not really sure what it’ll come down to,” he said of the decision-making that will take place in the coming months. “It’s going to be exciting going into it to see how this process works. But I think from a player’s perspective, yes, there are numbers involved, but it’s also the organization. Do you feel like you can be valuable to the organization where you’re at? Do you feel like you fit in where you’re at? That kind of contributes to your decision as well.”
And in all of the above, he said, the Giants qualify.
“Of course!” he said. “At the end of the day, when I was waived from the Rams, they were the first to come knocking on my door. By that alone, they qualify. They’ve had me here and have opened their arms and embraced me as if I was here the whole time. For me, they definitely qualify.”
That doesn’t mean he’ll definitely be back. But it’s pretty clear many hope he will be. His arrival during the bye week, claimed off waivers, was a big reason why the offensive line stabilized after an awful first half of the season.
“It’s been an interesting year, obviously we had changes in terms of personnel on the offensive line,” left tackle Nate Solder said. “Maybe that will be solidified now, I don’t know exactly.”
Pat Shurmur, who has said in recent weeks that he hopes the majority of this year’s team returns for 2019, also noted that the chemistry of certain units plays into the roster-building decisions that will be made during the offseason. That’s a particularly key ingredient for the offensive line. Brown and center Spencer Pulley are the only current starters who are not under contract to return to the Giants next year.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be personnel changes. Players will come and go in the draft and free agency. Some, like Jon Halapio, will try to return from injury. Others, like John Greco, might decide to hang 'em up after a long career.
But Brown, whose arrival trumpeted a turning point in the development of this offensive line, made it seem like he’d like to stick around and see this through. He was there on the ground floor for the Rams when they were a miserable team and blossomed into a championship contender. Maybe he can do the same with the Giants.
“I know the group of guys we have here, and I think as long as we stick together and continue to work we’ll turn that corner,” he said. “We’ll get things going in the direction we want it to be. We have the guys in this locker room who can do that. It’s just a matter of time. Just a matter of time.”