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Giants pick up 5th-year option on guard Justin Pugh

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EAST RUTHERFORD ‐ The Giants have picked up the fifth-year option on offensive lineman Justin Pugh, two individuals with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.

Pugh, 25, was the Giants' first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the 19th overall selection out of Syracuse. His fifth-year option for 2017 is expected to be worth $8.821 million.

The move is a no-brainer for the Giants. Pugh played well last year at guard and there is very little risk for a team to use the fifth-year option, which was negotiated into the collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) several years back. It provides teams the ability to add a year to the rookie contracts of their first-round picks after 2011.

The fifth-year option for a player drafted outside the Top 10 is the average of the No. 3 through 25 salaries at their position. Offensive line (center, guard and tackle) is considered one position, so it doesn't matter if he's classified as a guard or tackle.

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Pugh played both last season while starting 14 games. He played primarily right tackle during his first two professional years.

The Syracuse product is expected to start at left guard this season and be a key building-block piece on the young left side of the Giants offensive line along with tackle Ereck Flowers and center Weston Richburg. All three are first or second-round picks in the past three drafts.

Pugh, whose 85.3 grade for 2015 was 11th-best among guards according to Pro Football Focus, is the longest-tenured Giant of the three. He's expected to be a leader on the line this season.

The Giants also picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Prince Amukamara last year. He played on the additional year for $6.898 million in 2015.

Amukamara left as a free agent this offseason.

The Giants had until May 2 to exercise the fifth-year option in Pugh's rookie contract.






















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