With the 2022 NFL Draft just one day away, the New York Giants have a few big decisions to make to clear salary space. The team currently has $5.5 million available in funds, but they need another $10 million to allocate toward the rookie draft class and a bit of cushion for the 2022 season.
Ultimately, with financial liability comes great responsibility. Uncle Ben might have said something along those lines. New general manager Joe Schoen has had his work cut out for him restructuring contracts and slicing and dicing the roster to carry a bit more flexibility into the draft.
However, there are two players that stand out as potential trade opportunities if not outright being cut to open up a bit more salary space.
Two players the New York Giants will likely be moving on from over the weekend:
The rumors revolving around cornerback James Bradberry have been frequent this off-season, especially since he would save the Giants $10.1 million if cut and $12.1 million if traded.
With the cornerback market drying up significantly after Stephon Gilmore signed with Indianapolis Colts, the Giants have a bit of leverage over teams who desperately need cornerback support and might be intrigued by Bradberry’s services.
As Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports, the Giants need to unload Bradberry and the cornerback market is drying up:
The James Bradberry saga could come to a head in the next few days. The draft and its immediate aftermath is Schoen’s best chance to find a suitor for the veteran cornerback with the onerous $21.9 million cap hit.
The Giants can’t afford to pay Bradberry’s $21.9 million salary this upcoming season, so we can all but guarantee he won’t be on the roster. That is mainly why the Giants have been connected to a myriad of defensive backs in the draft. How they operate in the first round will be a telling sign of their priorities.
Teams with secondary needs in the draft might have to jump on the opportunity to trade for the Giants’ CB1 if they miss out on their preferred prospects on Thursday.
Another player the Giants will likely move on from is wide receiver Darius Slaton. Slayton has seen his production fall off year over year the last three seasons, but there’s nothing more concerning than his 18.8% drop rate in 2021. Slayton only tallied 339 yards and two touchdowns, meaning the Giants can likely replicate his production in the mid rounds of the draft.
Since Slayton’s contract was adjusted for performance related reasons, he is scheduled to earn $2.6 million this upcoming season, but the Giants can save $2.5 million if they release him.
Schoen is reportedly trying to find a trade partner to extract a bit more value out of him than just cash flow, but given his inconsistent hands, there may not be a team willing to pay him that amount for a potential liability.
The more likely scenario is the Giants cut Slayton outright, saving the money and reallocating toward another position or in-season salary cushion.