How much cap space do the Giants have after an eventful first day of free agency?

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants were big spenders on Monday, the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period. They added a few key free agents and also pulled off a blockbuster trade for star pass-rusher Brian Burns — then handed Burns a massive, five-year, $150 million extension.

Needless to say, the Giants opened their checkbooks and spent some serious money. But how much salary cap space are they left with after the first day of the legal tampering period?

How much cap space do the Giants have left?

The Giants entered the offseason with about $38 million in salary cap space. But after the first day of legal tampering, they are left with about $9.08 million in cap space (Over The Cap).

Along with Burns, the Giants made some other big acquisitions. They agreed to terms with a few free agents, such as OG Jon Runyan, OT Jermaine Eluemunor, and RB Devin Singletary.

Burns’ cap hit in 2024 will come in at $23.5 million — the second-highest cap number on the team. Runyan’s 2024 cap hit will be $6.5 million. Eluemunor and Singletary’s 2024 cap hits have not been revealed and do not factor into the $9.03 million figure. So, in reality, the Giants have even less than $9.08 million in cap space.

Effective cap space is the cap space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster. The Giants currently have only about $2.33 million in effective cap space.

With Runyan and Eluemunor’s contracts still pending, the Giants will need to create more salary cap space to fit their new acquisitions on the books. But what moves can they make to create more cap space?

How can the Giants create more cap space?

The Giants have a couple of clear moves they can make to free up more cap space. Two of their lynchpin pieces, DT Dexter Lawrence and LT Andrew Thomas, have contracts that can be restructured to create more room for incoming players.

Restructuring Lawrence’s contract would create about $11.53 million in cap space. Restructuring Thomas’ deal would create about $14.84 million in cap space. At least one of these contracts will likely need to be restructured in order for the Giants to afford their free-agent signings — if not both, depending on how much more spending they do.

One last move the Giants could make would be to restructure or release TE Darren Waller. Uncertainty surrounds Waller’s future as he reportedly considers the possibility of retirement. If he were to retire, that would free up the same amount of cap space as if he were cut, which is $6.7 million. If his contract is restructured instead (unlikely), the Giants would create $6.34 million in cap space.

The Giants are financially healthy. General manager Joe Schoen has done a solid job keeping the team underneath the salary cap and signing players to affordable and flexible contracts. As the team prepares for the new league year, they still have some holes to fill on their roster. Thankfully, the Giants have enough cap maneuverability to continue adding talent to their roster for the 2024 season.

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