New York Giants: Potential Cap Casualties In The 2019 Offseason

Anthony Rivardo
New York Giants, Olivier Vernon
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are currently sitting at $32,017,476 in cap space. That ranks them at 19th in the league in total free cap space. The Giants have a lot of room to work with, however. They can trade or cut players in order to free up more cap space. When a player is cut to free up cap space, it is termed a cap casualty. The Giants could be making multiple cap casualties this offseason in order to sign free agents.

Potential Cap Casualties:

Jonathan Stewart:

Running back Jonathan Stewart was a highly criticized free agent signing last offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman brought him in to be a locker room presence, but the high price that he paid was confusing to fans.

The Giants have super star running back Saquon Barkley to start all three downs. They also have a solid second running back in Wayne Gallman. It is unnecessary to hold onto Stewart next season, especially when considering the money they can save by releasing him.

Jonathan Stewart will have a cap hit of $2,775,000 in 2019. If the Giants cut him, they will save $2,525,000 in cap space. The penalty would be only $250,000 in dead money.

Olivier Vernon:

Pass rusher Olivier Vernon was signed by the Giants’ former general manager Jerry Reese in 2016. He signed a loaded contract with high cap hits every year of the deal.

Since being signed by the Giants, Vernon has failed to surpass 8.5 sacks on a season. He has also dealt with multiple injuries (Vernon missed five games this season and four games last season due to injury). With his high cap hit and lack of superstar-level production, there is a high probability that Vernon is no longer on the Giants in 2019.

Vernon’s cap number in 2019 is $19,500,000. Vernon is a good player at an important position, so he is likely to have an active trade market. If the Giants cut or trade Vernon before June 1st, they will save $11,500,000 and incur a penalty of $8,000,000 in dead money.

If Vernon is cut or traded after June 1st, the Giants will only take a penalty of $4,000,000 in dead money and free up $15,500,000 in cap space in 2019. Unfortunately, dumping Vernon’s contract after June 1st will not give the Giants many free agent opportunities. Free agency begins in March, and there will not be many key players left on the market in June.

Janoris Jenkins:

Janoris Jenkins is a cornerback that was also signed by Jerry Reese during the Giants’ spending spree in 2016. Jenkins has been a solid player since joining the Giants, but he has an expensive contract. This contract has been difficult for Jenkins to live up to in recent years, and this has lead to many trade rumors surrounding Janoris.

If the Giants do trade Janoris Jenkins this offseason, they can save a lot of cap space. However, they will also have to eat a lot of dead money. Trading or cutting Janoris before June 1st will save $7,750,000 in cap space, but bring along $7,000,000 in dead money.

Just like with the Vernon contract, the Giants can save more money if they cut Jenkins after June 1st. However, they will not be able to sign anyone to replace him by then. However, if they do decide to get rid of Jenkins after June 1st, they will save $11,250,000 in cap space with only $3,000,000 in dead money.