The New York Giants are entering the 2022 off-season with $-10.7 million in salary space. The reality is simple, they desperately need to create more money to work with just to sign their draft selections.
If they want to be active in free agency, adding specific players that can make an impact early on, they will have to make a few tough decisions on players with bigger deals signed by former GM Dave Gettleman.
Gettleman found himself signing massive contracts for outside players to try and supplement his poor drafting, an unsustainable model for building an NFL team.
New general manager Joe Schoen has already indicated the salary cap is a mess and must be cleaned up. Keeping Kevin Abrams around makes sense since he knows the contracts at hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved on from his services after they’ve cleaned out the majority of the bad deals on the roster.
The Giants will need a sufficient amount of money to sign their draft picks and inject more talent into positional groups. Schoen has a number in mind that can get them there.
According to Peter King of Pro Football Talk, Giants’ GM Joe Schoen is looking to create a hefty amount of cap space:
This week (Saturday) is the 10-year anniversary of New York’s last playoff victory—the 21-17 Super Bowl win over New England. That is one long dry spell. New GM Joe Schoen won’t have an easy path with his buddy and new coach Brian Daboll. The Giants have to either fix Daniel Jones or replace him in 2023, and Schoen told me Saturday he’ll have to clear out $40 million from a bloated and mismanaged salary cap this spring.
Schoen indicated during his introductory press conference that it’s not easy moving on from players, even if it’s for the best:
“It’s never easy to do that and some of those players that are at the higher salaries, they’re making that money because they’re good players. It’s maybe not because they’re not good players anymore, but it’s the reality of the situation. We have to get below the salary cap. It’s not going to be easy, and you’ve got to make sure you’re making the right decision for the franchise, but it’s never easy.”
Clearing out $40 million in salary space will be difficult, but there are several players who can help free up money.
For example, if the Giants moved on from James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, Sterling Shepard, Kyle Rudolph, and Riley Dixon, they could save approximately $33 million, if not more. Several other names could be considered trade candidates, notably Logan Ryan or even Saquon Barkley, who is projected to earn $7.2 million this upcoming season if retained.
The Giants have many different avenues they can travel down, but there will be roster turnover in the near future, which will have to be supplemented in the draft.
Given his familiarity, the Buffalo Bills have several attractive free agents that Schoen could target. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky, defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, and potentially cornerback Levi Wallace could all be considerations. Another receiver would be Isaiah McKenzie, who performed well this post-season and is preparing to turn 27 years old.
Schoen has already brought in bills practice squad RB Antonio Williams to help his transition.