Giants OL Nick Gates lands big payday with Washington Commanders: sources

Nick Gates’ three-year free agent agreement with the NFC East rival Washington Commanders isn’t surprising considering how close he was to not being a Giant last season.

Gates had tears in his eyes in the Giants’ locker room early in the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 6. Quarterback Daniel Jones crossed the room, hugged him and said a few private words.

Gates had been informed just days before the team’s Week 1 opener in Tennessee that he was going to be released.

He was still rehabbing from his devastating 2021 compound leg fracture. He was being cut without ever getting the chance to prove he could still play in the NFL.

In the next few hours, after some conversations, the Giants’ plans changed. The team retained Gates, eventually opened his practice window, and gave him a chance to prove he could still play.

Gates played in 10 regular season games, starting eight, and played in both playoff games, helping the Giants to their first postseason appearance since 2016 and first playoff win since 2011.

And on Monday, Gates agreed to leave for the Commanders, as reported by the Daily News and NFL Network, joining the franchise that he fractured his leg against in Week 2 of the 2021 season at FedEx Field.

A source confirmed Gates is signing a three-year, $16.5 million contract with Washington that includes $8 million guaranteed and another possible $1.5 million in incentives.

And now he will face his former Giants franchise twice a year.