The Giants made their first big acquisition of the offseason on Friday by trading LB Olivier Vernon and a fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for right guard Kevin Zeitler and a fifth-round pick.
Zeitler is under contract through 2021 and is owed $10 million next season, which saves the Giants just $1.5 million in cap space after their $8 million owed to Vernon in dead cap money.
Zeitler, 29, helps shore up a porous offensive line that has been a weakness for the Giants over the last several seasons. Here is what you need to know about the newest Giant…
1. Pro Football Focus ranked Zeitler as the No. 6 guard and top-graded pass-blocking guard in 2018. He allowed 11 pressures — one every 58 pass-blocking attempts — three sacks, one hit and seven hurries in 1,091 snaps last season. To contrast, the Giants right guards combined to allow 39 pressures last season.
2. He is durable. Zeitler has not missed a game over the past four seasons and has only missed four games his entire seven-year career — all coming in 2014.
3. He was a first-round pick. Zeitler was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 27th pick of the first round in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was the second guard to be taken in the draft behind Steelers guard David DeCastro.
4. Today is his birthday. The Cleveland Browns tweeted out a happy birthday to the right guard just hours before he was dealt to the Giants on Friday.
– Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 8, 2019
So happy birthday, Kevin, welcome to New York.