His talent has never been an issue. As a rookie, he scored 8 touchdowns with over 600 receiving yards. In his second year, he improved his receiving yards per game by over 20 yards, going from 42 yards per game to 66 yards per game. In all 3 of his seasons leading up to 2019, Shepard has had at least 59 receptions.
Unfortunately, Sterling Shepard’s career could potentially come to an end even as one of the premier slot receivers in the game. Sterling suffered a concussion during the Week 1 matchup against the Cowboys, causing him to miss week 2 against the Bills. His second concussion has kept him sidelined since playing against the Vikings on October 6th. Overall he’s missed 5 of the 9 games due to his concussions.
Sterling’s health is undoubtedly the most important factor when visiting this topic. With that said, if he does decide to retire, it’s worth looking into the financial situation for the New York Giants and how it would change.
Salary Cap Implications If Sterling Shepard Retires
Much like whether a cut happens before or after June 1st, the same implications come with retirement as well. If Sterling Shepard were to retire before June 1st, all of his prorated bonuses after 2019 would be void.
We can’t be sure about the exact reimbursed amount for the team right now, but for a contract that’s worth $41 million in total, the true guarantees stand at a little over $21 million. Considering the team could get a portion of the signing bonus back as well, it sounds like the New York Giants could get nearly half of their total funds back from Shepard’s contract, maybe more.
Another noteworthy factor in retirement is the agreed-upon years of service. Contracts used to be based on actual years, but these days they’re based on accrued seasons. If Sterling Shepard were to retire and decide to return at a later date, his contract would be back into effect, and he would still be scheduled for another 4 seasons with the team.
The most important factor of Sterling Shepard right now is his health. Concussions are highly dangerous, and fans should hope he is going to be okay before anything else. With that said, the team could potentially recoup a large portion of their investment if they will be without his services.
Hopefully, Sterling Shepard is relieved of his symptoms with the ability to return to the field sometime in November. For now, the New York Giants will be without him this Sunday at 1 pm when they take on the New York Jets.