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Getty Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has spent the majority of the offseason gushing over how “excited” he is about versatile offensive lineman Nick Gates. On Saturday he put his money where his mouth is, signing the 6-foot-6-inch, 318-pound, former undrafted free agent to a two-year extension.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo has reported that the two-year extension could max out at $10.325 million.

The #Giants have agreed to a two-year extension with OL Nick Gates, who started three games last year. The deal has a base value of $6.825 million and could max out at $10.325 million. A former undrafted free agent who spent his first year on IR, Gates cashes in.

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 1, 2020

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Holes at Center, Tackle Make Gates’ Skillset Ever More Crucial

“We’ve got faith in Nick Gates,” Gettleman stated leading up to the NFL Draft, “Last year he made a lot of progress and we’re excited about him.”

Well, the Giants better be, because the more days that pass, the more it appears Gates is destined to lock down a starting gig across their offensive line.

Gates, who spent the majority of his rookie season in 2018 on the injured reserve, saw his first substantial NFL snaps in 2019, appearing in all 16-games with three starts, two at right tackle and one at right guard.

The former Nebraska Cornhusker performed admirably at both positions, posting an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 77.0 last season. However, he was the most effective while lined up at guard, where he saw his grade catapult into the low-80s. Gate’s stellar performance while playing on the interior has led the Giants organization to believe that he could potentially be their answer at yet another position, center.

While Gates hasn’t taken a single game snap at the center position during his playing career, he has apparently flirted with the position in the past.

“He did do some of that last year in practice, so it’s not completely new,” Gettleman said of Gates back in April. “Nick is smart. The thing you love about Nick is just how tough he is, because it’s a fist fight in there. There’s no doubt about that. History tells you that the toughness of your team is really, really indicated by the toughness of your offensive line. So, we’re always looking for that kind of piece. Nick would be in consideration at center, absolutely.”

Gates to Replace Nate Solder?

Not only is he in consideration to be the center, but the expectation around the league is that Gates is the favorite to land the starting gig in a competition that also includes the likes of Spencer Pulley and rookie Shane Lemieux. Noted by his inclusion in the Giants’ projected starting lineup, per PFF.

However, recent events may ultimately pull Gates from one competition to another. Nate Solder’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 season has left a glaring hole at the tackle position for Big Blue. While 1st-round pick Andrew Thomas is expected to slide into Solder’s previous spot on the left side, the answer for who fills the void at right tackle remains unknown at this time.

Free-agent addition Cam Fleming and 3rd-round rookie Matt Peart are the current favorites to man the position. With that said, Fleming is a player that has never been more than a spot-starter over his six-year career and likely best served in a swing tackle role. Peart, on the other hand, is a “skinny” 315-pound specimen, with unlimited upside, yet somewhat of a developmental project.

In reality, Gates may offer the best combination of experience and upside at the position out the gates, no pun intended. Either way, it’s been evident from the start of the offseason that Gates is gearing up to be a prominent part of New York’s offensive line moving forward. The Giants’ willingness to extend Gates only further cements that sentiment.

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Jessica Simpson, 40, Ditches Her Hair Extensions To Pose For All-Natural Selfie

The mom of three says she's happy to be extension-free.

Jessica Simpson went all-natural for her latest Instagram shot. The singer and fashion designer, who turned 40 last month, shared a somewhat fuzzy photo to her social media page as she declared herself extension-free after years of adding hair pieces to her already-thick blonde mane.

In the photo shared with her 5.4 million followers, which can be seen below, Jessica was all smiles as she showed off her real hair, which hits just below her shoulders and is slightly wavy. The mom of three wore a black turtleneck and a gold “J’ necklace as she posed for the all-natural pic that also complimented her glowy skin.

In the caption to the pic, the Open Book author admitted that the photo was a bit blurry, but teased that wasn’t enough to stop her from celebrating being “extension free.”

In comments to the post, fans and friends reacted to Jessica’s shorter hair look, including her best friend CaCee Cobb, who expressed happiness that she finally ditched the extensions.

“I am so glad you took those out!” CaCee wrote to her bestie.

Others agreed that Jessica looks so much better with her own locks.

“So FRESH!” wrote Jessica’s sister, singer Ashlee Simpson Ross.

“Love it!! Yayy give your hair a break! Bonus, your hair looks great without!! Natural beauty,” added celebrity hair colorist Rita Hazan.

“Such a beautiful woman, love all the at-home, non-glam mama moments and realism,” a third follower chimed in. “You’ve hit your zenith, as Goldie would say.”

Others told Jessica that the more natural she looks, the more beautiful she is.

View this post on Instagram

This is blurry, but good Lord I love to be extension free

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:06am PDT

In her post, Jessica did not reveal exactly when she had her hair extensions removed. A quick glance at her Instagram feed shows she has been boasting a shorter hairstyle for a few months, dating back to an at-home book signing marathon in June. In recent photos from her 40th birthday and in a shot snuggling with her son Ace last month, Jessica appeared to have a shorter ‘do. The last post in which the blonde beauty looked like she had extensions in her hair was in late May when she posed in workout gear while standing in a doorway.

Of course, even though she’s taking a break right now, fans know that Jessica loves faux hair pieces so much that she teamed up with celeb hairstylist Ken Paves to put her name on a hair extension kit under the HairDo brand. The clip-in extensions promise to add volume and length to locks that need a little help.

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