One of the prime enemies of the New York Giants in recent years hasn’t just been the rest of the league, but the salary cap. The team’s cap situation wasn’t great going into the 2018 NFL season and it looks like one of the goals of the front office going into the offseason was to spend their cap space more efficiently.
This was seen in moves such as the trade of Olivier Vernon, whose production didn’t match up with his price tag, and allowing Landon Collins to walk and take more money with the Redskins. And after Odell Beckham Jr. signed a huge deal last year, his trade could be seen as partially a cap move.
The Giants have made another such salary cap saving move recently in the form of restructuring the contract of offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, who they acquired from the Cleveland Browns in the Vernon trade.
The Giants recently converted $7.5M of G Kevin Zeitler's base salary into a bonus, creating $5M in salary cap for 2019, per source. With two first-round picks to eventually pay, the G-Men create some cap flexibility.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 24, 2019
According to Field Yates, the Giants moved $7.5M worth of salary into a bonus and will save $5M against the salary cap this year. That won’t turn around the team’s cap problems by itself but it is a good move and based on the current numbers, $5M in salary cap is enough to pay a player such as Kareem Martin, Rhett Ellison, or Antoine Bethea, all of whom have cap hits within that range.
It also helps the Giants reduce their cap problems while still getting what should be an influential player who will start right away with former starting right guard Jamon Brown having moved on already to take a deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
There’s been plenty of things to complain about during the offseason but this isn’t one of them. The fact that the Giants were able to save a further $5M against the salary cap after acquiring Zeitler just goes to show that they won the Olivier Vernon trade with Cleveland.