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New York Giants 2024 Training Camp Preview: OT Yodny Cajuste

The New York Giants invested resources last season in rebuilding their offensive line, which was among the worst in the entire NFL last season, finishing with the the worst-rated pass-blocking grade, and the third-worst rated run-blocking grade.

Injuries contributed to the Giants line’s poor performance, but coaching had done little to really develop the position. For much of the past decade, the front office has struggled to find success adding talent.

The best option is availability, and the main reason why Yodny Cajuste has been a near-impossible evaluation is that he has spent much of his NFL career injured.

Dating back to his West Virginia days, Cajuste dealt with injuries as a freshman and redshirt sophomore.

When healthy, Cajuste has played well for a depth lineman and has shown promise.

In 2022, the last time Cajuste was healthy and on an active roster, he started three games for the Patriots and finished those games with PFF grades of 64.8, 67.4 and 60.9 – none of which are great, but 60 is considered average, and 70 is considered good. So for a starter early in his career, that’s a welcome achievement.

Cajuste was a dominant offensive lineman in college and was drafted in the third round despite injury concerns, but has failed to carve out a healthy career thus far.

Now 28 years old, injuries may have contributed to Cajuste not only reducing his pain but also limiting his ability to develop consistently.

Height: 6-5
Weight: 310
EXP: 4 years
School: West Virginia
How acquired: FA-23

Cajuste had a quiet 2023 season after being released by the Patriots this offseason. During the summer, Cajuste visited with the Jets and Giants before being signed by the Jets until an injury led to him being placed on the exempt/injured list before he was ultimately released.

Once he was deemed healthy, the Giants signed Cajuste to the practice squad. He spent the season there before being signed to a futures contract in early 2024.

Cajuste is signed to a one-year contract worth $985,000 without guaranteed money.

The good news for Cajuste is that, as far as his contract is concerned, he will not be released as a result of a simple attempt to free up space.

With his salary only taking up 0.38% of the Giants’ 2024 salary cap, the only legitimate reason for releasing Cajuste would be because they simply don’t feel he’s worth a roster spot.

The 2024 season could be considered Cajuste’s last chance to make it with an NFL team. Since being drafted in 2019, Cajuste has finished three of his five seasons on injured reserve or practice squad after being ruled out/injured.

At 28 years old and with only seventeen games played to date, Cajuste probably understands that his goal right now is not to start at offensive tackle.

Given the current state of the Giants’ tackle room and their investment in the position with first-round picks Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal, it’s unlikely the team is looking for new starters there.

Cajuste is at the point in his career where he has not been able to develop so far due to injuries, but he is still capable of being a swing tackle who can compete for the second spot. It’s likely the Giants will enter the season with four pure tackles, while also having a few players like Joshua Ezeudu and Jermaine Eluemunor who are capable of playing both tackle and guard when needed.

If he can stay healthy throughout the preseason and put in decent performances, which he has been able to do when healthy, then I would expect Cajuste to make the final roster as a depth swing piece who, at least for next season, will will do. playing on a cheap contract.

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