New York Giants might not be able to afford offensive playmakers in 2021 free agency

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman
New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants vowed to upgrade their offense this offseason. Both co-owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman promised to find playmakers to help Daniel Jones. There are plenty of enticing options set to hit the open market once free agency begins in March. Fans are expecting the Giants to be involved in bidding wars, but New York might not have the cap space available to pursue any big options.

According to Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advanced Media, the Giants are expected to be $3 million over the salary cap. Players on their rookie contracts are seeing their salary cap hits rise based on their performance. Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, Isaac Yiadom, and B.J. Hill have all had their cap hits increase. This has put the Giants in a cap space predicament that might not be easily eradicated.

Can the Giants free up cap space?

The Giants will not stay over the cap for long, though. Rosenblatt points out that the Giants will get around $4.8 million in rollover cap from 2020 applied to their 2021 cap sheet. There are also a number of players in danger of being cut to free up cap space, like Golden Tate, Nate Solder, Levine Toilolo, and others.

New York is also likely to extend some of their players and free up immediate cap space. Players like Jabrill Peppers, Kevin Zeitler, and James Bradberry could get extensions or have their contracts restructured, as Rosenblatt points out. Additionally, the Giants could surprise people and extend Evan Engram to free up cap space as he enters his fifth-year option season, like Jabrill Peppers.

The Giants will get under the cap pretty easily. But they will not have as much money as fans originally expected them to. This could drastically alter New York’s offseason plans.

What does this mean for the Giants?

The Giants might not have enough cap space to re-sign their impending free agents and also add talent in free agency. Both Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson are impending free agents, in need of new contract extensions. Unfortunately, this new development within the Giants’ cap situation might force them to move on from one of these two big-name free agents.

If the Giants want to sign a premier wide receiver in free agency, they will almost certainly have to move on from one of their impending free agents. Players like Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, and Chris Godwin will not come cheap. All three of these players will earn contracts topping $15 million annually and Robinson could top $20 million.

This might force the Giants to focus on the offense in the 2021 NFL Draft. It seems more likely that the Giants will attempt to re-sign their free agent defenders in March, then beef up their offensive attack in April through the draft. There are plenty of talented offensive playmakers that will be available for the Giants with the eleventh overall pick in the NFL Draft. So while the Giants’ tight cap situation might complicate things in free agency, it should not prevent the Giants from acquiring talent on offense.