New York Giants: Potential Cap Casualties In The 2019 Offseason

New York Giants, Olivier Vernon

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.

New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys Post-Game Analysis – What Now?

The New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys for the final game of the season. The Giants came into the game with a 5-10 record, already eliminated from the playoffs. The Cowboys arrived with a 9-6 record, already clinched a playoff spot. With a loss today, the Giants fall to 5-11 while the Cowboys move to 10-6.

Up And Down Offense:

Overall, the Giants’ offense played a great game. They totaled 35-points and got big games out of Barkley and Engram. However, quarterback Eli Manning did turn the ball over twice and the team was unable to move the ball on the final possession of the game.

Saquon Barkley had a record setting day. Barkley had 142 total yards today (109 on the ground, 33 through the air), which put him over 2,000 yards on the season. That made Barkley the third running back in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards in their rookie season, joining elite company.

In addition, Barkley had three receptions today which helped him set the record for the most receptions by a rookie running back in NFL history. Barkley finished the season with 90 receptions, surpassing the previous record of 88 held by Reggie Bush. Barkley had a rushing touchdown today, his eleventh on the season. That set a Giants franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a rookie’s season.

Quarterback Eli Manning had a slow start to the game. He threw a red zone interception on the Giants’ first drive, the followed that up with a lost fumble on the next drive. After that, Manning responded well with 301 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. One was to wide receiver Cody Latimer, who hauled in Eli’s perfect pass with one hand for a touchdown. The other was a throw to the flat that Engram turned upfield and dove into the end zone with.

Lousy Defense:

The Giants’ offense was able to put up a big 35 points on Sunday, but the defense let up a whopping 36 points. Edge rusher Olivier Vernon had a big game with 2.5 sacks, but there is only so much one player can do. The Giants’ secondary got picked apart throughout the game.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 387 yards and 4 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions on the day. Tight end Blake Jarwin had a field day against the Giants with 119 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants defense had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, up 7 with the Cowboys looking at a fourth and fifteen. Unfortunately, the Giants were not able to make the stop. Dak Prescott connected with wide receiver Cole Beasley for the touchdown on fourth and fifteen. The Cowboys then converted the two point attempt to put the team on top 36-35.

Aftermath Of The Loss:

With this loss, the Giants are locked into a top eight pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They currently hold the sixth pick and have room for improvement. If the Raiders win this week, the Giants can move all the way up to the fourth pick. This can come as a huge silver lining to Giants fans who are already looking ahead to the offseason.

What The New York Giants Should Do With Olivier Vernon In 2019

New York Giants, Olivier Vernon

While the New York Giants lost game after game, pass-rusher Olivier Vernon remained sidelined for the first five matchups of the season, watching idly by as his teammates floundered in disappointment.

The desperation of a pass rush, an offensive line, a quarterback, and an efficient front-office, has haunted the Giants for years. General manager Dave Gettleman put his best effort forth in the 2018 NFL Draft, but his free agent signings have been lackluster at best. Three of his draft picks are currently starting and have immense potential, while another was arrested for resisting arrest after a traffic violation on Tuesday morning.

The team has its strengths and weaknesses to say the least, but one player that will be a tough cut in 2019 is Vernon.

Why the New York Giants should cut Olivier Vernon in 2019:

Vernon will account for $19.5 million of the cap next season, which would earn him about as much as most starting quarterbacks. He’s a valuable asset, but is he worth that kind of cash?

The Giants’ top pass-rusher has recorded just 7.5 sacks in two seasons. To put that into perspective, Jason Pierre-Paul, who’s currently on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has recorded seven this season alone. Once again, the Giants missed big time on the utilization of their talent.

Now, despite Vernon’s shallow sack totals, he’s superb at hurrying the quarterback and forcing them to make mistakes. He’s also a great tackler and run-stopper. His primary issue is staying healthy. Vernon has missed seven games in 1 1/2 years. In the games that he did play, he powered through a broken hand and a high ankle sprain. This year he’s dealing with another ankle issue.

It’s fair to say that the transitioned outside linebacker is far from his former self, and coughing up $19.5 million just doesn’t seem economically efficient. Alternatively, the Giants should consider eating $8 million in dead cap and use that money to try and lure in a player like Lions’ Ezekiel Ansah.

Coming off a stellar year where Ansah recorded 12 sacks and 44 combined tackles, his price tag shot up to $17 million. So far this year, he’s only played in a single game. It’s likely that his price will drop due to him having a bum campaign. He will require another contract season to earn the big-bucks. Best case scenario he proves to pull his weight and is re-signed for the long-run.

Of course, these are all hypotheticals, but a massive cap-hit would piggy-back on Vernon’s return and would ultimately be a questionable move probability-wise.


Should The New York Giants Cut OLB Olivier Vernon In 2019?

New York Giants, Olivier Vernon

The New York Giants’ pass-rush was an abomination leading up to the week 6 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, ranking last in the league with just seven total sacks. The return of outside linebacker Olivier Vernon presented a burst of ability on the defensive line, and despite a truly awful display by the entire team, Vernon had a solid game.

The Giants’ best pass-rusher recorded two total sacks, one sack, one tackle for a loss, and two QB hits. His first performance of the season was stellar, especially since he was facing off against Jason Peters, the Eagles’ Pro Bowl left tackle.

Vernon didn’t play 100% of snaps on defense, but he was out there for a solid chunk, until the game got away from the Giants going into the fourth quarter.

Here’s a pressing question that must be answered at the end of the season:

Should the Giants cut Vernon and allocate his cap-space towards other positions?

Vernon has been productive when on the field for the Giants, despite having a lower than expected sack margin. Exempting the current season, Vernon has only amassed 15 total sacks in two seasons, but has a solid 35 QB hits. Last season was a struggle for the edge rusher as he struggled with a wrist injury and a high ankle sprain. With the demise of the team, his production fell off significantly, but was still considered one of the better pass-rushers int he league.

Vernon will earn $15.25 million in 2019, but his contract has an out that would make him a free agent and count $8 million in dead cap. Cutting him would clear up $7.25 million in cap-space, which might not be worth it when considering his value when healthy.

Personally, I don’t think the saved cap would be able to compensate for the influence that he has on defense. As an outside linebacker it was expected that Vernon would be more successful, especially on a James Bettcher led defense. The bottom line, the Giants might be better off keeping him than sending him on his way next year.

New York Giants: Vernon, Apple, and Engram To Miss Carolina Game

The New York Giants will lack any extra help in their game tomorrow, against the Carolina Panthers. Injuries ave already piled up this season and the team is missing top players across multiple positions, with Olivier Vernon, Eli Apple, and Evan Engram all recovering from injuries at this point.

Now, we know that none of those players will feature against Carolina, in week five of the season. In fact, Vernon will have not played in the regular season for five straight games, after picking up a high ankle sprain before the preseason could end. It’s been a point of contention with some fans, and will likely result in some more debates as Vernon approaches a fifth straight missed game.

Both he and Eli Apple practiced with the rest of the players earlier this week, however, and it should be a signal that their returns are not as far off as some may think. The Giants head coach, however, has different ideas about what Vernon’s progress is like.

“He was involved in team activities. Typically, a lot of these guys get cranked up in individuals. He probably looked better than you saw,” Pat Shurmur said about Vernon’s current state. Vernon isn’t the only player that’s out, however.

When Evan Engram was injured in the Houston game, we didn’t know if there would be a quick recovery time or if he would be out for a prolonged period of time. But with Engram missing his second straight game, it’s now clear that his injury is more than a minor one. No update has been given about when Engram is expected to come back.

Eli Apple is nearing a return but is being held back for now. “Gotta get back to my normal speed and I’m not there yet,” he said. It’s probably for the better. No team wants to play with a cornerback that is still somewhat injured, and unable to eep up with the other team’s receivers.

The absence of all three players won’t help the Giants’ chances against Carolina, though. Especially with two defensive starters gone, in a game where the pass rush should be one of the keys to the game for New York. However, even if progress is slow, there is progress being made for the top injured players on the team, and that’s encouraging.

Because if the Giants want to take a shot at turning things around, it will have to be at closer to full strength.

Giants’ Damon Harrison Reacts To Return Of Olivier Vernon

The return of New York Giants‘ top pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, will surely provide the boost they need on defense to create some much needed turnovers on Sunday against the Panthers. Week 5 will present virtually the Giants’ last chance at climbing back into the NFC East race. Surprisingly, they’re only one game out from the Eagles (2-2), Cowboys (2-2), and Redskins (2-1).

If the rest of the division loses, which is certainly possible as the Eagles play the Vikings, Cowboys the Texans, and Redskins the Saints, the Giants will be in a solid position moving forward. But, again, they must win the next game against GM Dave Gettleman’s former club.

What New York Giants’ Damon Harrison had to say about Olivier Vernon:

Defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison made it very clear that having Vernon back will be a game-changing reality, according to the NY Post:

“It’ll be a nice surprise for the Panthers, if we can get him back,” the Giants tackle said Thursday. “That [means] everything. That’s the Terminator. [He] can do it all. … That’s not a discredit to the other guys, but [he’s] just a different animal.

Vernon has been out with a high ankle sprain since August 26, and his absence has been felt. Rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill has been the Giants’ best pass-rusher to date, and not to discredit his success thus far, but Vernon is in a different stratosphere in terms of ability.

In the past two years with Big Blue, Vernon has amassed 101 tackles and 15 total sacks. He’s one of the league’s most efficient pass-rushers in terms of QB pressures and hits, despite his sack totals being questionable. After making the transition to outside linebacker in the 4-3 defense, it’s expected that he will have more sack production off the edge. Hopefully, that assumption will be true in his first live action.

New York Giants: OLB Olivier Vernon, CB Eli Apple Injury Update

With the New York Giants preparing to face off against a high-octane New Orleans Saints offense, several influential defensive players are nursing injuries. Outside linebacker Olivier Vernon has yet to play in a regular season game and Eli Apple missed week 3 with a groin injury.

Vernon has been taking his high ankle-sprain day-by-day, but there has been minimal progress in his eventual return. This week, he was able to practice in limited fashion, partaking in a few individual drills, but not much more. On Thursday, his work load thinned out even more, which would indicate that he may have aggrevated the injury or is just taking a precautionary measure.

When asked about his injury, Vernon stated:

“Honestly you have to ask Coach Shurmur for that one,” Vernon said. “But all I could do is be out there (for practice) and when I’m out there healthy and just go from there.”

How has CB Eli Apple looked?

Apple returned to practice on Thursday, albeit in a limited fashion as well. The main priority here is that he participated, which could indicate that he might be able to give it a go on Sunday against the Saints. If Apple were to start, he would likely match up against Tedd Ginn Jr., the Saints’ speedster receiver. Additionally, he would be a big help for the linebackers and safeties trying to contain RB Alvin Kamra.

Other injury news:

DT Damon Harrison (knee), WR Cody Latimer (knee), RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) all sat out practice. According to Pat Shurmur, the absent players were taking a few days off due to wear and tear.

TE Evan Engram is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee.


Giants: Olivier Vernon Returns To Practice, Jenkins Leaves From It

The return of outside linebacker Olivier Vernon will be a huge boost to the New York Giants‘ defense, especially with tough offensive matchups on the horizon. The defense’s best pass-rusher returned to practice on a very limited basis on Thursday, riding the bike and sitting alongside a trainer.

It’s not expected that Vernon makes a return this week against the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener, but I can imagine he’s marked week 3 as a realistic time-table for his injury. High ankle-sprains are extremely sensitive and prone to re-injury, which makes this much more serious. In 2017, Vernon suffered a similar injury and was forced back onto the field far too soon which limited his effectiveness throughout the season.

Expect the Giants, especially head coach Pat Shurmur, to keep him sidelined until he’s 100%. Giving him another week to heal would be the right move.

What happened at practice today for the New York Giants?

An emotional Janoris Jenkins left practice today to tend to a family matter, separate from the charges on his brother. According to other reporters, Jenkins was visibly upset and his situation was kept under wraps.

His availability shouldn’t questioned for Sunday’s game, but we will keep an eye on him to see if it’s something that could affect his play.

A new addition to the injury report this week was wide receiver Sterling Shepard. His ailment doesn’t seem to be too serious, as it’s reported that he slept wrong. He was a full go on Thursday and will be healthy come game-time.


How Deep Are The New York Giants On The Defensive Front?

After reports emerged that New York Giants‘ outside linebacker Olivier Vernon suffered a potentially serious ankle injury, fans and analysts alike began to consider the fact that he could miss serious time. Luckily, it’s thought to be just a lower ankle bruise, which has calmed the storms of disaster.

Despite the avoidance of a massive injury, it’s important to break down the depth of the defensive line and linebacker corps before jumping into the water well.

Can the New York Giants survive a serious injury on the defensive front?

If Vernon were to go down, who would replace him? And would they be able to maintain his success? The answer is simply no, but there are several options on the roster than can play at an above average level. One of them is Connor Barwin, who just three years ago had 14.5 sacks. Since then, he’s been a menace as a rotational piece.

Additionally, rookie Lorenzo Carter offers value as a backup, as he was a fantastic pass-rusher with the Georgia Bulldogs last season. His abilities in the run-game also turn a few heads.

With Vernon making the transition to the 3-4 defense, he’s set to play a big role on a heavy blitzing James Bettcher defense. Bettcher helped Chandler Jones amass 17 total sacks in 2017 and is looking to do the same with Vernon.

The Giants’ top pass-rusher has been a stud in regard to pressures and total tackles, but he simply hasn’t been able to rack up the sacks. Starting from a standing position on the outside of the left tackle should give him the momentum and opening to attack the quarterback one-on-one. The 4-3 defense relies on the defensive tackles to take up space in the middle so that the linebacker can’t expose the gaps and wreck havoc in the backfield.

A player of Vernon’s caliber often excels in this scheme, and having a player like Barwin to help him make the transition only benefits his cause. The depth on the line might be deep, but there’s no replacing a player that has managed over 40 tackles in three of six seasons.

Additional Depth:

-RJ McIntosh

-Josh Mauro (Good rotational piece)

-Kareem Martin (Can fill roll if need be. Average player.)

-Kerry Wynn (Strong preseason, has potential for more)

-Ray-Ray Armstrong (Great in coverage, helps balance out the middle linebackers)

-Avery Moss (Still developing, has potential)

-Calvin Munson (Last choice linebacker, has issues in coverage but is decent in run-support)

New York Giants: Olivier Vernon Carted Off The Field In Practice

The New York Giants might have traded away reserve lineman Brett Jones today for a seventh round pick from the Vikings, but the bigger news is in regard to Olivier Vernon.

What happened to New York Giants’ Olivier Vernon?

Vernon was carted off the field for an apparent ankle injury. He was caught up between two blocks and appeared to roll the ankle.

Pat Shurmur stated that Vernon would go for tests and the severity of the injury is yet to be determined. The loss of Vernon would be huge for a Giants defense making the transition to the 3-4 scheme.

The veteran defender was expected to play a massive role in containing the opposing team’s run game and quarterback.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher coached Chandler Jones to a 17 sack season in 2017 after making the switch to OLB. He was planning to do the same with Vernon this season.