Giants gain cap room by signing Seubert
By Len Pasquarelli
The New York Giants have signed offensive lineman Rich Seubert to a two-year contract extension, a move that provides the team about $400,000 in additional salary cap room for 2006.
By signing Seubert, the Giants secured for the long-term a player who could work his way back into the starting lineup after overcoming a potentially career-threatening injury.
For the second consecutive year, Seubert accepted a salary reduction, but could gain more security in a deal that ties him to the Giants through the 2009 season.
The two extension years added to his contract are at base salaries of $1.05 million for 2008 and $1.3 million for '09. His base salaries for the next two seasons, in the reworked portion of his existing contract, are $545,0000 for '06 and $790,000 for '07.
Seubert, 26, was an emerging star for the Giants when he suffered a catastrophic injury to his right leg six games into the 2003 season. He sat out almost two years after breaking his tibia, fibula and ankle, and there was some feeling he might never play again.
But after missing the entire '04 season, Seubert showed improvement in camp last summer and appeared in four regular-season games. He started at left guard in a Dec. 17 victory over the Chiefs, the game in which Giants running back Tiki Barber rushed for 220 yards.
The former Western Illinois player, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001, is expected to vie for an expanded role in '06. Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi and coach Tom Coughlin made offensive line depth a priority last season and it paid off handsomely as the improved numbers on the unit helped contribute to New York winning the NFC East.
The worst-case scenario is that a fully recovered Seubert will be a key backup. But based on his performance in his lone start of '05, he could have an opportunity to be a starter again.
Seubert has appeared in 28 games and started 23 of them. He started all 16 games in 2002, the season before he broke his leg.