John Greco, a guard who joined the Giants in November and played sparingly through the end of the season, has been re-signed by the team.
The Giants announced the move on Wednesday, securing at least one of the pieces in what is sure to be an overhauled offensive line for the upcoming season.
Not only can Greco, 32, provide depth and possibly compete for a starting job at either guard, but also he will provide a strong veteran presence for a locker room that at points in 2017 lacked such an element.
He’ll also be familiar with what the new Giants coaches will want and expect from the offensive linemen. Greco played for the Browns from 2011 to 2016, where he played under head coach Pat Shurmur (2011-12) and offensive line coach Hal Hunter (2016). In what very well could be a room full of strangers at the start of the offseason program, that knowledge may go a long way.
Greco was a full-time starter for most of his career with the Browns. He was with the Saints but did not play in any games early in the 2017 season before he was released.
Greco is just one of several offensive linemen from 2017 whose future with the team is nebulous. Guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg appear to be heading to free agency, guard John Jerry is under contract but may be released or asked to take a pay cut, and the Giants brass seems to understand that they need an upgrade over Ereck Flowers at left tackle. The team already parted ways with right tackle Bobby Hart, who was waived off injured reserve shortly after the Super Bowl.
General manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur have both spoken about the need to retool the offensive line. Greco, apparently, fits into the category of “hog mollies” that Gettleman likes to have up front.
“I know we have a serious mindset when it comes to doing what we can to upgrade in those areas,” Shurmur said of the offensive line in January when he was hired. “Some of it may be just inspiring a player on the roster to play better than he’s played, you know, and that comes back to coaching. And then we all know that every once in a while, you need to get some new players.”