The New York Giants are in a bind with their current cap situation, sitting at -$7.6 million and likely less after signing offensive tackle Matt Gono this week. Unfortunately, clearing cap space will be predicated on releasing big-name players preparing to earn big money.
Unless the team can convince some players to take massive pay cuts, GM Joe Schoen will have to turn his attention to the contracts of James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, and Sterling Shepard. Bradberry’s is the most bloated, preparing to count $21.86 million against the cap in 2022 unless he’s released or traded.
If released, the Giants would $12,136,111 in cap but accrue a $9,727,778 dead money hit. Ideally, the team could trade him for draft capital and still save a bit of cash, but one of his premier teammates is begging for the Giants to retain him.
“It would be devastating, I’m just being honest,” cornerback Adoree’ Jackson told the New York Post.
“Knowing him as a person, knowing him as a player, seeing things that he can do I’d love to have him back there in the secondary, getting the rock and getting it going.”
If the Giants don’t decide on Bradberry soon, they will have to cough up $2 million of his $13.4 million salary (guaranteed money). If they make a move with the veteran defensive back, it will likely occur early next week.
Based on the scheme fit after hiring DC Wink Martindale, it seems likely Bradberry will be on his way, especially since his cap savings are desperately needed to at least get into the positive. Alternatively, management will have to release Martinez and Shepard unless they agree to astronomical pay cuts.
With free agency slated to begin March 16, the Giants would like to have a little wiggle room, but it’s more likely they’re shopping in the clearance bin this off-season.