The New York Giants are apparently satisfied with the idea of J.D. Walton as their starting center, as they did little to prevent Brian de la Puente (New Orleans Saints) from signing with the Chicago Bears despite reported interest dating back to early March.
The 29-year-old de la Puente agreed to a minimum one-year deal with the Bears, indicating that despite their interest, the Giants never made him an offer. Ultimately, de la Puente now joins the Bears as a back-up interior lineman, but he feels it's the ideal situation for him.
“You never know what you are going to get [in free agency],” de la Puente said. “Fortunately, I fell into a position where I am with a team that is on the upswing and is a winning team. That is big for me, to be on a winning team. I am just excited to play for coach Kromer, coach [Marc] Trestman and the whole organization.”
Whether or not that speaks volumes about how the Giants view J.D. Walton or more about what they thought of de la Puente will remain unclear until the season starts, but it may leave some who feel they still need help at center scratching their head. Either way, all previous Giants' interests at the position — including Evan Dietrich-Smith — are now off the market. And while they could still draft a center in the 2014 NFL Draft, it now appears certain that Walton will be the starter once the regular season rolls around.
Pending any additional moves, Walton will likely be backed up by Dallas Reynolds (who has apparently not yet signed his ERFA tender).
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