According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:
I've heard free-agent C Evan Dietrich-Smith could sign quickly tomorrow. Giants are the favorites, from what I can tell. #NYG
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) March 10, 2014
In free agency, otherwise known as the NFL's silly season, it's sometimes difficult to tell what's real and what's a smokescreen from an agent trying to get top-dollar for his client.
That being said, Dietrich-Smith to the Giants makes sense for several reasons.
For one, the Giants appear to be letting go incumbent starter David Baas as part of a cost-cutting move, but they'll also be letting go of a player that's missed most of last season due to a variety of injuries.
Then there's the connection between former Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, now the offensive coordinator of the Giants. McAdoo knows that Dietrich-Smith is a capable starter, and the player known as "EDS" knows that he'd be joining a team that will be running a familiar offense.
Dietrich-Smith cannot sign a contract with another team until the start of free agency officially opens at 3:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, but he could re-sign with the Packers at any time. In essence, the Packers have less than 24 hours to make a last-ditch effort to keep their starting center, if they're so inclined.
Should Dietrich-Smith leave, the Packers would be entering a season with their fourth starting center in as many seasons. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has advocated for keeping Dietrich-Smith on his own radio show in the past.
Minus Dietrich-Smith, the competition for the starting center position would become an open competiton with second-year player J.C. Tretter perhaps being the front-runner.
The Packers would be taking a major risk in relying on an unproven player like Tretter to fill Dietrich-Smith's shoes. Last season, the Packers learned a lesson in hoping that Jerron McMillian would emerge as a starting safety, and Tretter has even less of a body of work than McMillian, haven't played so much as a single down in his rookie season and coming off a broken ankle that forced him onto the team's Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
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