Giants at risk of losing veteran defensive lineman to ‘bigger payday’

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Colton McKivitz (68) blocks New York Giants defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson (91) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants traded away DT Leonard Williams mid-way through the 2023 season, leaving a void in their lineup. The void was filled by veteran DT A’Shawn Robinson who had signed a one-year deal worth $5 million with the team in the offseason.

Robinson played well during the final stretch of the season and seemingly earned his right to remain with the team long-term. However, the Giants may struggle to extend Robinson. Dan Duggan of The Athletic recently reported that Robinson is in line for a “bigger payday.”

The Giants could lose A’Shawn Robinson in free agency

Robinson would easily be a candidate for extension this offseason after a productive 2023 campaign. He racked up 62 combined tackles and six tackles for loss in 17 games with 13 starts for Big Blue this season. Robinson was consistent and reliable, making him a valuable cog in New York’s defensive lineup.

Duggan reports that Robinson played so well, however, that he could garner a lucrative deal in free agency this offseason:

“Robinson is an example of a successful prove-it deal. The 28-year-old was forced to settle for a one-year, $5 million deal from the Giants as he recovered from a torn meniscus last offseason. It took Robinson time to ramp up, but he became a strong complement to Lawrence after Leonard Williams was traded midway through the season. Robinson has positioned himself for a bigger payday this offseason.”

Dan Duggan of The Athletic

Can the Giants afford to extend Robinson?

The Giants are projected to open the 2024 offseason with around $22 million in salary cap space. However, according to Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated, the team’s effective cap space is only projected around $16.15 million. Effective cap space is defined as the cap space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster.

Considering they still need to extend the likes of RB Saquon Barkley and S Xavier McKinney, Big Blue’s cap space is running thin. They will be unlikely to extend Robinson on a deal that surpasses his 2023 salary of $5 million unless it’s a multi-year deal that allows the team to backload the contract and move the guarantees down the line to create a lower 2024 cap hit.

While Robinson was an impact player in 2023, it would not be shocking for him to depart in free agency this offseason. The Giants seem keen on developing youngster Jordon Riley and have minimal cap space available to retain Robinson’s talent. While it’s still possible for him to land this “big payday” in New York, it is more likely that Robinson will get his wages increased by another NFL franchise.

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