The New York Giants are heading into the 2022 off-season with $-10.7 million in salary space. New general manager Joe Schoen has a lot of work to do before the team can have an active free agency, let alone sign their draft selections. The Giants will have two first-round selections to utilize in the 2022 NFL draft, meaning they will have to set aside cap space just for their picks.
Schoen recognizes that the salary cap needs plenty of work, mentioning they will have to make some tough decisions this off-season during his introductory press conference.
“It’s a concern, and it’s real,” Schoen said last Wednesday during his introductory press conference. “Obviously, we’re going to have to clear some money. There are going to be difficult decisions that are going to have to be made.”
Five players the New York Giants should consider moving on from:
1.) P-Riley Dixon
The Giants signed Riley Dixon to a three-year, $8.7 million deal in 2019. However, his 2021 season was nothing short of disappointing. Dixon is prepared to earn $2.5 million in base salary with a $3.12 million cap hit. However, if the Giants release Dixon, they can save $2.8 million in salary space, eating $320.5K in dead money.
The Giants can easily sign a cheaper free agent or even utilize a late-round draft pick to solve their punter position.
2.) CB-James Bradberry
Depending on where the Giants go with their defense in 2022, cornerback James Bradberry could be a cut candidate.
Bradberry is a solid zone coverage corner, but he allowed eight touchdowns and 729 yards this past season after a phenomenal 2020 campaign. If retained, Bradberry would count $21.8 million against the cap, but the Giants would save $12.1 million if they elect to cut the veteran corner. They would be forced to eat $9.7 million in dead money, but they would open up enough cash to allocate a solid number toward the offensive line.
3.) WR-Sterling Shepard
Unfortunately for receiver Sterling Shepard, he tore his Achilles in the final game of the season for the Giants. Shepard would count $12.5 million against the cap next season, but the team would save $4.5 million if they cut him.
Shepard would force the Giants to eat $8 million in dead money, but it is unlikely he makes an impact next season due to the injury, so they are better off saving the money and moving on.
Alternatively, the Giants could wait until after June 1 to cut Sterling, in which they would save $8.5 million and eat $4 million in dead money. That might be the more efficient move, giving the Giants a bit more cash to spend on last-second signings going into the season.
The Giants signed tight end Kyle Rudolph to a two-year, $12 million deal last off-season. Unfortunately, Rudolph was virtually useless, accruing just 257 receiving yards and one touchdown. The Giants can easily move on from Rudolph and save $5 million, eating $2.4 million in dead money.
5.) LB-Blake Martinez
Blake Martinez is another cut candidate after tearing his ACL against the Atlanta Falcons, but his services could still be useful next season as the Giants look to rebuild. If retained, Martinez would earn $14 million, but the Giants could save $8.5 million by cutting him and moving on.
Letting Martinez go would force the Giants to supplement the linebacker position significantly, and they may not have enough resources to find immediate contributors they can depend on. Another option for Martinez would be to restructure his contract.
Realistically, Martinez isn’t going to get a big deal on the free-agent market coming off an ACL tear. The Giants could offer to rip up his current contract and extend him on a two-year deal with a team option for the second season.[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”dipr0fs1u9″ question=”What do you think?” opened=”0″]What do you cut or trade any of these players? What others do you think should be included? Comment here![/wpdiscuz-feedback]