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NY Post
New York Post
21 Oct 2023

NextImg:Giants sure could use Nick Gates Sunday vs. Commanders

The current Giants front-office regime, which arrived in 2022, decided to move on from offensive lineman Nick Gates, and a team in their own division decided to pounce on him in free agency.

So far, it looks like a good move for Washington.

Gates has started all six games at center and played every snap on offense this season for the Commanders.

The Giants opted to not bring back Gates and veteran Jon Feliciano and selected John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft to start at center.

According to Pro Football Focus, Gates is the 20th-ranked center in the league, with a grade of 62.7.

Schmitz started the first four games before a shoulder injury put him on the sideline.

The New York Giants watched former center Nick Gates sign with the Washington Commanders during the offseason.

He was the 34th-ranked center by PFF, with a grade of 49.0.

His replacement, Ben Bredeson, is No. 37, with a grade of 42.3.

The Giants knew all about Gates’ toughness, as he made a successful return from a gruesome lower leg fracture suffered early in the 2021 season.

Gates joined the Giants in 2018 as an undrafted free agent.
Gates signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Commanders during the offseason.

The Commanders gave the 27-year-old Gates a three-year deal worth $16.5 million, and Sunday, he will face his former team at MetLife Stadium.

“Things happen every year,’’ Giants head coach Brian Daboll said. “You never get everybody back. That’s the nature of the NFL, free agency, stuff like that. Nick’s a good player, tough guy, appreciated his time here. He’s doing a good job there.’’

For several years, Gates went up against Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams in practice.

Sunday, for the first time, will be the real thing.

Gates is known to be a feisty player, and not averse to instigating some extracurricular activity.

“Yeah, that’s my guy,’’ Lawrence said. “Nick is a good dude.’’

It is not only Daniel Jones who attracts Daboll’s ire.

Tyrod Taylor heard it — loudly — from the head coach as the Giants walked off the field at halftime last week.

Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor heard it from head coach Brian Daboll following the botched goal-line sequence at the end of the first half Sunday.

Taylor had mistakenly changed a pass play into a run and time ran out on the Bills’ 1-yard line.

“You get a sense of his passion in practice, training camp practices, I’ve seen him obviously show emotion,’’ Taylor said. “For me, I think you guys have been around me and seen me long enough over these past two years or year and a half that I’m pretty even-keeled, so it doesn’t necessarily sway me one way or the other. I knew that it was a mistake at the time. Like I said, my mind completely shifted to how we can come out even better in the second half. I own up to it.’’

Washington DE Chase Young is second in the league (to Dallas’ Micah Parsons) with 31 defensive pressures. Young also has three sacks. … This is the first of two “Legacy Games’’ for the Giants. They will wear their blue uniforms from the 1980s and 1990s. The midfield logo will feature the classic Giants helmet and the end zones will be painted in the throwback style from old Giants Stadium.