Former Georgia offensive lineman Andrew Thomas is officially a member of the New York Giants after signing his rookie contract earlier this week.
After being taken as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Thomas signed a four-year deal and announced the news via Twitter.
NFL rookie contracts have limits and Thomas’ first contract is worth somewhere in the ballpark of $32.3 million. Plus, he’ll earn around $21 million as a signing bonus. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound rookie tackle made the decision last week to go ahead and report to training camp without a contract. That allowed him to go ahead and get a head start on testing for COVID-19 and went through a mandated two-day quarantine. Now, he will be able to join his teammates at the start of training camp.
Thomas is expected to get subbed in on the Giants’ line wherever they will need him. He will likely start out at right tackle with Nate Solder at the left tackle position. Although, there is a chance that Thomas could take Solder’s position if he progresses well. Solder is in the third year of a four-year contract, but he’s struggled the last two seasons.
Thomas played both left and right tackle at UGA, and it seems like he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him.
“For me, it’s kind of like a switch in my head that kind of goes off, because the plays and everything are the same, the technique is the same, but everything is flipped to the other side,” Thomas said. “You might be using your right leg for something that would maybe be different on the left side. It’s just getting used to that. But once I get a few repetitions at it, it’s just natural.”
As a freshman in 2017, Thomas started all 15 games at right tackle during Georgia’s national championship run. The Bulldogs finished 13-2 that year and fell just a few plays short of its first title since 1980. Thomas earned freshman All American honors for his performance that season. He then started 26 of 28 games over the next two years at left tackle, while missing one game as a sophomore with a sprained ankle and one as a junior when he skipped UGA’s Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Baylor.
After Thomas was drafted, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart expressed how meaningful he was to the program in a video released on his Twitter.
“You’ve been a three-year starter at the University of Georgia. You played a lot of great competition in three years, and competed everyday to get better,” Smart said. “We can’t be any more thankful as a family here at UGA for what you did for our program. I still remember you coming over and speaking at the West Endzone dedication, and it was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. It came from the heart. It wasn’t memorized or read. I know you’ve got a bright future and we can’t wait to see you be an NFL dog and come back to visit our players because you meant so much to me and the University of Georgia.”