Even though they have already added Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, and John Jerry to the offensive line since the beginning of free agency, the Giants showed on Tuesday that they aren't yet down improving their team when they announced the signing of free agent offensive tackle Charles Brown.
Brown was originally drafted by the Saints out of USC in the second round of the 2010 draft, but he didn't become a full-time starter until last season, his fourth in the NFL. In 2013, Brown started 14 games for New Orleans at left tackle, but he was made expendable by emerging rookie Terron Armstead.
Now with the Giants, Brown will have to fight hard for playing time, as the team is currently flush with offensive tackles. Along with last year's starters Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, New York's roster also lists James Brewer and Brandon Mosley as tackles. The latter two, however, are more realistically going to play as guards for the Giants, making Brown the top backup at a key position.
As a player who started for a high-octane offense last season, Brown is someone whom the Giants could do a lot worse than at backup tackle. He may not have lived up to his second-round draft pick pedigree in his time with New Orleans, but Brown is still an experienced player who can play either tackle spot in a pinch. He played mostly at left tackle last season, but has made seven starts on the right side in prior years.
Brown may have ascended to starting status more quickly with New Orleans had he not been derailed by hip and knee injuries in 2011 and 2012, respectively. With the Giants, Brown will serve as insurance in case something happens to either Beatty or Pugh over the course of the season.