New York Giants‘ general manager, Joe Schoen, is committed to a prudent, long-term strategy, focusing on responsible salary cap management and avoiding hefty contracts.
As such, the Giants may risk losing three pivotal players from their defensive squad in the coming off-season. Schoen’s challenge is to either find suitable replacements or extend their contracts while ensuring financial stability.
Fortunately, the Giants have no immediate need to make rash decisions, given the healthy $59 million in cap space earmarked for next year. With quarterback Daniel Jones already extended and a few other decisions to make, notably regarding Saquon Barkley’s contract, the team has plenty of room to maneuver financially.
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Potential Departures on the Horizon for the New York Giants:
Despite Leonard Williams‘ significant contributions as a stellar interior defender and locker-room leader, the Giants have shown no interest in extending his contract beyond the upcoming season, which sees a cap hit of $32.26 million. A neck injury limited Williams to just 12 games in 2022, but his impact, especially in the run game, is notable.
While Williams has openly expressed his desire to continue playing alongside good friend and teammate Dexter Lawrence, the Giants’ management seems reluctant to offer him another long-term contract without a significant pay cut.
The most likely scenario sees Williams departing after the next off-season, with the Giants seeking a cheaper or more promising alternative.
Cornerback Adoree Jackson, who’s still in his prime at 27, could be another loss for the Giants. With a salary cap hit of $19 million for the upcoming season, Jackson’s future with the team seems uncertain, despite being a consistent performer since joining in 2021.
Drafting promising Maryland standout Deonte Banks offers hope for a smooth transition into a CB1 role after the 2023 season. Jackson’s solid record last season included 673 total snaps before a knee injury cut his stint short. His stats included allowing 388 yards in coverage, two scores, eight pass breakups, and efficient tackling on the boundary.
Despite arguments favoring an extension for Jackson due to his familiarization with the scheme and strong team relationships, the Giants’ non-committal approach offers greater flexibility and access to a wider pool of available talent.
Safety Xavier McKinney, whose rookie contract expires post the 2023 season, is probably the most likely of the trio to receive an extension. Despite missing eight games due to a finger injury last year, McKinney has demonstrated consistent tackling skills and improvement in coverage over the years.
The diminishing market for high-cost safety contracts could work in the Giants’ favor, allowing them to retain McKinney at a reasonable cost while supporting his ongoing development. This prudent approach aligns with Schoen’s strategic vision and ensures a healthy balance between performance and financial sustainability for the New York Giants.