A peek at the Giants’ cap health going into the 2024 off-season

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen looks on during day two of training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have a busy off-season ahead, trying to navigate their salary situation, finding a high-upside draft pick in the first round, and continuing to build a roster that underwhelmed in 2023.

Currently, the Giants are projected to have around $23 million in team cap space, which significantly limits the Giants’ ability to go out and sign free agents.

Could Darren Waller Be One And Done?

However, there are plenty of ways to create salary space, including cutting Darren Waller and offensive lineman Mark Glowinski. Waller is preparing to depart from the Giants or see the front office pick up his three-year, $51 million extension. Based on his injury history, locking him into a contract that continues to increase in salary may be a bit risky.

If the Giants release Waller, they will save $7 million to allocate elsewhere, but if they keep him, his cap number will be $14.45 million in 2024.

The Giants Can Easily Save Money on Glowinski’s Contract

On the other hand, Glowinski is all but gone since the G-Men can save $5.7 million of his $7.2 million expected cap hit next season. They will take that money and hopefully roll it over into a veteran offensive lineman, and there will be several targets the Giants have in free agency after hiring Carmen Bricillo, the Las Vegas Raiders’ former offensive line coach.

Navigating Daniel Jones’ Contract Will Be A Challenge

The big question revolves around Daniel Jones, whose contract is locked in at a $47 million salary hit in 2024, but the Giants have an out after next season. If they end up drafting a quarterback, they can spend a bit of money this upcoming off-season, knowing they will save a substantial amount in 2025 and beyond.

Jones has an out after next season with a $22 million dead salary hit, but the Giants can spread that number across the final two years of his deal and lower the implications earlier. That would open up a significant amount of salary space to work alongside a rookie quarterback on a low-cost deal.

Key Players Due For Extensions

Of course, the Giants still have to make decisions on Saquon Barkley, Xavier McKinney, and several other impending free agents. McKinney is in line to earn top dollar, and Barkley still wants a long-term extension coming off a solid year behind a porous blocking scheme.

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Freeing Up Cap Space At The Quarterback Position

The Giants don’t have a ton of money to spend on retaining talent or adding pieces, so getting out of Jones’s deal seems like the obvious path to salary health, but that would mean finding a quarterback supplement, trading up to acquire a top prospect with elite upside or taking a risk on a second round talent to develop for a season.

The Giants do have options, but it all depends on the Chicago Bears trading out the 1st overall pick or staying put and selecting Caleb Williams.

Restructuring Contracts For Established Stars

At the moment, the Giants don’t have much money, but they can restructure the contracts of Dexter Lawrence and Andrew Thomas to open up substantial salary savings. Restructuring contracts is a normal thing, but it essentially just pushes money down the road and straps the Giants with more liabilities.

Ideally, they would find a way to refrain from pushing more guaranteed money into the future, raising cap hits.

This upcoming off-season could be franchise-changing for the Giants, but it all relies on the quarterback position and what their strategy is: Either reinforce it or stick with what they have.