The 2020 NFL free agency period will begin in March. The New York Giants can be big spenders this year if they want to be. They are estimated by Spotrac to have over $69 million in cap space before they start trimming the fat and cutting veteran contracts.
One of those veterans that could be cut is their slot receiver, Golden Tate. The Giants signed Golden Tate to a four-year contract last offseason. After one season with the team, the Giants could look to move on from the 31-year-old receiver and get younger at the position.
When the Giants signed Golden Tate in 2019, they gave him $22,950,000 guaranteed and an average annual salary of $9,375,000 (according to Spotrac). However, this guaranteed money has recently come into question.
Golden Tate missed the first four games of the 2019 NFL season as he was serving a suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Because of this, the Giants have the option to void all guarantees in Tate’s contract. They could cut him and suffer no salary cap penalties if they choose to.
Cutting Golden Tate would take his $10.5 million 2020 cap hit off the books. An additional ten million dollars to spend in free agency could be enticing enough for the Giants to make this move. Despite the salary cap savings, the Giants would pay approximately $7.5 million in amortized signing bonus, which would essentially be dead cap if cut.
Golden Tate’s 2019 Season
The Giants received stable production from Golden Tate in 2019. He played in 11 games and caught 49 passes for 676 yards and 6 touchdowns. But are these numbers good enough to keep him around?
It could be argued that 676 yards and 6 touchdowns do not warrant $10.5 million, but averaged out over a 16 game season the value seems to be present. Alternatively, the Giants could take that money and invest it into more significant positions of need, like cornerback or offensive tackle. However, the savings wouldn’t be significant after the $7.5 million in dead cap. Additionally, the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft features one of the strongest wide receiver classes in recent memory, so finding Tate’s replacement might not be too difficult.
Nonetheless, Golden Tate did form a reliable connection with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. With Jones entering his second professional season, keeping familiar faces around him will be necessary. Jones will need some continuity heading into a new season with a new coaching staff. Keeping Golden Tate could provide the continuity and dependability that Daniel Jones needs.