Giants could move on from Logan Ryan, but how could they lower his $12.2 million salary hit?

new york giants, logan ryan
Nov 29, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Giants free safety Logan Ryan (23) runs with the ball after recovering the forced fumble during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Among the difficult decisions, the New York Giants have to make this off-season is dealing with safety Logan Ryan, who is preparing to count $12.2 million against the salary cap for the 2022 season. However, his contract puts the team in a bit of a bind, as they would save just $775K if released, making the decision to cut him borderline malpractice.

If the Giants elect to wait until 2023 to release him, they would save $9.2 million in salary space, counting a $2.97 million dead money hit against the cap.

There is one other alternative choice to consider this off-season, waiting until after June 1 to release Logan, which would save the team $3.75 million but push $3 million in dead money to next year, something that general manager Joe Schoen has already indicated he doesn’t want to do.

Interestingly, reports have indicated that the team is still willing to move on from Ryan one way or another, and the most efficient method would be via trade.

According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the Giants have Logan Ryan on the chopping block:

Safety Logan Ryan is another player with a big contract that a source said could be on the chopping block. That’s a bit of a surprise because of the cap implications. The Giants would create just $775,000 in cap savings with $11.5 million in dead money if they cut Ryan.

There are a few teams that could be intrigued by Ryan, but the Giants would likely have to pay some of his contract in the event he is traded. They could ask for a measly seventh-round pick in return but pay half his deal, which would still save them an exponential amount of money compared to the alternative.

A team like the Houston Texans might fit the bell perfectly as a trade candidate, featuring Jonathan Owens as their top-performing safety last year, playing in just 103 coverage snaps. Their primary starting safeties, Erik Murray and Justin Reid, both struggle considerably in coverage and in run defense.

The Texans have approximately $15 million in available salary space this off-season but could open up even more if they managed to trade Deshaun Watson.

Another team that could find interest in Ryan is the Detroit Lions, who also had underperforming safeties last year in Tracy Walker and Dean Marloww, who played the majority of the team’s pass coverage snaps. Will Harris also earned 572 coverage snaps, posting a team-worst 41.7 coverage grade among their safeties, per PFF.

Overall, the Giants finding a way to drop Ryan’s contract will prove to be difficult, but if they can find a trade partner and open up even $6 million in salary space, it would go a long way toward bolstering the offensive line or other positions of need.