Giants should move on from 2 players counting $51 million against the cap

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) catches a touchdown pass in front of New York Giants cornerback Adoree' Jackson (22) in the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

At a precarious 1–4 standing, the New York Giants find themselves on shaky ground as they approach a challenging matchup with the Buffalo Bills in Prime Time. A slide to 1–5 could force them to consider trade options for some of their expiring contracts, especially as the October 31 trade deadline draws closer.

Giants’ Salary Cap Reset: Looking at Jackson and Williams

The Giants may need to make some difficult decisions, particularly with some high-priced players, to revamp their salary cap and place their bets on the younger talent. Cornerback Adoree Jackson and defensive end Leonard Williams are prime candidates in this regard.

Adoree Jackson’s Struggles

Jackson, with his hefty $19 million salary hit in the final year of his contract, hasn’t delivered as expected this season. Over 295 snaps, he’s allowed 282 yards, including a touchdown, with a concerning 71.4% reception rate. Starting the season in the unfamiliar territory of the slot didn’t help his case. His move back to the outside did little to improve his numbers, as evidenced by his recent performance against the Miami Dolphins.

His tackling hasn’t been up to the mark either, missing 20% of his attempts. Given his inconsistent performance and his age at 28, the Giants might see more value in redistributing his hefty salary elsewhere.

Leonard Williams: Is the Price Right?

Leonard Williams faces a similar crossroads. His notable $32.2 million cap hit stands in stark contrast to his 11 pressures over 199 snaps this season. Williams should be capitalizing more on his 1V1 battles, especially with teammate Dexter Lawrence drawing double teams. This has raised questions about the viability of his hefty price tag.

Considering the Giants’ projected $56 million availability next season, moving away from Williams could free up more resources, despite the lingering costs from past contract restructures.

Lingering Effects of Past Decisions

Past contracts, notably those inked by former general manager Dave Gettleman, continue to strain the Giants’ financial flexibility. Despite these challenges and an unanticipated underperformance this season, the team still hoped for a more promising outlook.

The offense’s downfall, characterized by injuries to key players like Andrew Thomas and John Michael-Schmitz, along with the lackluster performance of Evan Neal, has been a major obstacle.

As the New York Giants weigh their options, trading Williams and Jackson might be a strategic move. This could open up salary space and secure draft assets, propelling the team’s rebuilding efforts.

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