The New York Giants have had to make a few tough decisions this off-season trying to lower the salary cap hits of some of their more expensive players. With new management coming in and a full rebuild underway, it was always a possibility that former pricey free agent signings would end up being released to save a bit of cash.
The latest player to hit the road was corner James Bradberry, who the Giants released on Monday afternoon. Big Blue saved $10.1 million from his salary, adding it to their cap space. Currently, the Giants have $14.7 million available, just enough to sign their rookie class, which will require $12.8 million.
The Giants have already restructured multiple contracts, including Blake Martinez, Sterling Shepard, and Graham Gano. Martinez will accrue a $1.25 million base salary but count $7.5 million against the cap. Shepard will earn $1.5 million in base salary but take on an $8.5 million dead cap hit.
Looking at 2023, Shepard will be a free agent, but the Giants had to add a void year at $4.2 million to open up some flexibility this off-season.
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Gano restructured his contract multiple times, sitting with a $4.47 million cap hit this year and earning $1.12 million in base salary. Next year, he will earn $3.75 million in base and a $2.6 million hit against the cap.
General manager Joe Schoen had to make a few strategic moves to open salary space, but the Giants still project to have upward of $83 million next year. However, that doesn’t include their 11 new rookie contracts, so it’s around $60 million.
Since the Giants have already declined the fifth-year option of Daniel Jones and picked up Dexter Lawrence’s, which has already been factored into the 2023 cap space, they will have a big decision to make retaining their quarterback on the franchise tag or via extension.
Nonetheless, they can always push bigger cap hits to the future and not take on the brunt in the first year, which is a normal practice in the NFL trying to open up more flexibility.
Given how poor the situation was when Schoen took over, the Giants have still managed to inject a ton more talent in the offensive line and multiple position groups that were glaring weaknesses.