The Browns made a couple of big investments in guards this offseason when they signed Kevin Zeitler and re-signed Joel Bitonio to contracts with a total maximum value of $111.2 million.
The two Browns weren’t the only guards seeing nice paydays as they hit or neared free agency. Ronald Leary, Larry Warford and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif also netted good deals and a peer heading into the final year of his deal took note.
Giants left guard Justin Pugh started his NFL career at right tackle, but has been much more productive since moving inside for the 2015 season. That leaves him feeling good about what the future holds for him on the contract front.
“Do you even know who some of those guys are that were getting paid?” Pugh said, via Dan Duggan of NJ.com. “I feel good about where I’m at. … The guard market has gone up. I definitely have taken notice. I’ve seen what these guys are getting. I’ve seen guys that I came in with. That’s just part of this game. It’s part of the business of it. It’s the tough part of it, but in this league, if you go out and you produce, you get paid.”
Pugh is playing this year on the fifth-year option that the Giants exercised last offseason. It comes with an $8.8 million salary and Pugh could be looking at even more for the 2018 season if all goes well for him on the field this year.