How the New York Giants can open up cap space for Allen Robinson in free agency

Allen Robinson, New York Giants
Sep 27, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) runs against Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee (27) during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There is a simple reality when it comes to New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, he has very little help around him. Jones has his fair share of struggles, ranging from turnover problems to pocket awareness, but he is an athletic passer who can move the chains with his legs. He has all of the tangible traits you want in an NFL quarterback, but general manager Dave Gettleman has done very little to support him.

Dating back to when Gettleman traded Odell Beckham Jr., he replaced his elite services with Golden Tate, who has been mostly a ghost the past two seasons. He is currently in the second year of a four-year deal, but the Giants luckily have an out after the 2020 season, which will count about $4.7 million dead cap.

With Saquon Barkley consistently being injured, the Giants need to find a WR1. As long as DJ doesn’t have quality receivers to throw to, he will struggle to move the ball downfield. Currently, he has Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Tate, and a bevy of reserve options. Shepard is a fantastic slot option who can move to the outside, but he is not a speed receiver, and with opposing teams lining up their top corners against him, he’s being taken out of games with ease.

If the Giants can land a top receiver, Shepard will have a much easier time getting open and utilizing his short-area quickness and agility to dominate on short/intermediate routes.

The question is, who do the Giants look at in free agency, or should they take a draft approach? Let’s take a look at how they could land an option like Allen Robinson, who will be the top pass catcher on the market in 2021.

The New York Giants can cut/let go of these players:

Kyler Fackrell: $4.6 million coming off the books on a one-year deal

Nate Solder: $10 million saved if Post-June 1 cut but $6.5 million dead cap

Golden Tate: $8.5 million with a $2,352,942 cap hit Post-June 1 cut

=$14.25 million

Due to COVID-19 implications, the salary cap could drop as far as $20 million in 2021 but could also drop as little as $7 million. Based on those numbers, the Giants will have to figure out the best course of action. They have players who will likely be cut or allowed to walk in free agency after one-year contracts, like Kyle Fackrell. They should realistically have enough money to land a top WR in free agency, but they will be stretching their financial flexibility.

Robinson, who has routinely produced with poor quarterback play, could land upwards of $18 million per season. He is the top option, and with two consecutive seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns, he would make a significant difference for the Giants at 28 years old.

Offering him a three-year deal, in line with the previous free-agent signings in 2020, will keep their financial stability in place. Moving on from free agents after two years is what the Giants want to do, just in case things don’t pan out like we’ve seen in the past with players like Olivier Vernon (five-year deal).

Of course, utilizing the draft to solve their receiving woes is also a good idea, it’s just a matter if the Giants want proven talent or players with even more upside like Ja’Marr  Chase or Devonta Smith.