Giants’ lack of cap space could force a deadline trade

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 NFL trade deadline is approaching and the New York Giants may be forced into trading away a key piece. The Giants are in dire need of salary cap space as they currently sit just $1.3 million under the cap. This could spur the front office to make a deal and ship off a talented player in an effort to create space for the rest of the season.

Salary cap limitations could spur a trade

The Giants have just $1,394,843 of cap space left, ranking dead last in the NFL, per Sports Illustrated’s Patricia Traina. As Traina points out, that amount of cap space is “probably not enough to get them through the rest of the season.”

It is vital for NFL teams to carry emergency money with them throughout the season. Maintaining enough salary cap space to sign players in case of injuries is a crucial task for a front office. If any more injuries are to arise this season (and there have been plenty so far), Big Blue is unlikely to have the money to address any needs for the rest of the year unless they make a move to clear cap space.

With the trade deadline approaching (October 31st), the Giants are running out of time to clear a big contract off the books. Some veteran players with high cap hits could potentially be traded at the deadline to give New York’s front office some breathing room for the rest of the season.

Who could the Giants trade?

Head coach Brian Daboll made it clear that superstar running back Saquon Barkley will not be traded at the deadline. But outside of Barkley, there are some other trade candidates for the front office to consider selling.

The most clear and obvious trade candidate is veteran cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. This season has been a struggle for Jackson and the 28-year-old has seen his placement on the depth chart take a tumble because of it. Thus, New York could look to offload Jackson and get his contract off the books. Trading Jackson would likely free a few million in cap space — enough to get the team by for the rest of the year.

Leonard Williams is another expensive veteran that Big Blue could look to trade, however, he is still an integral part of the team’s defense, so moving him is unlikely. Additionally, with such a high cap hit ($32 million), there are not likely to be many teams willing to take on his contract. The Giants would need to retain a large portion of his salary to get a deal done, but a deal is unlikely to happen.

A few other lowkey players could potentially fetch Big Blue some late-round draft picks, like CB Darnay Holmes or WR Parris Campbell. But the cap savings would be minimal, meaning the most likely outcome is that the Giants create some money by releasing a player mid-season.

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