While quarterbacks have become the richest players in the NFL, as well as the players who attract the most attention, the most vital position in the league might be the left tackle position.
As the vast majority of NFL quarterbacks are right-handed, the left tackle — situated on the edge of the offensive line — protect the quarterback’s blind side, giving him more time to make the decisive throw or scramble to pick up crucial yardage.
On Wednesday, the New York Giants agreed to terms on a new contract with one of the NFL’s very best players at the position — essentially ensuring Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will remain productive if healthy.
A record amount of guaranteed money
Andrew Thomas‘ new contract with the Giants will see him rake in $67 million guaranteed — which ties an NFL record for guaranteed money in an offensive lineman’s contract.
Thomas, the fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft, overcame a tumultuous rookie season and has since morphed into a top-flight left tackle. The 24-year-old started 16 of New York‘s 17 games in 2022 and was named a second-team All-Pro for the first time in his three-year career.
Thomas wants to keep improving
Thomas, who played college football at national powerhouse Georgia, does nt seem satisfied with his sterling 2022 season — during which he helped the Giants return to the playoffs for the first time in six years.
During media availability on Wednesday — when the Giants kicked off training camp — Thomas was asked if he thinks he is the best left tackle in the game. His answer speaks to his mentality — and perhaps why New York felt comfortable inking him to a lucrative new contract.
With Thomas and Jones signed long-term — and Barkley sated for at least another season — the Giants’ offense figures to pose plenty of problems in the NFC next season.