According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the New York Giants have the least amount of cap space available of any team in the NFL.
Counting the signing of D.J. Fluker, nobody currently has less salary cap space than #Giants. They have approximately $5M available vs. cap
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 13, 2017
So far, New York has addressed needs at wide receiver (if there really was one), tight end (sort of), and offensive line (potentially).
But Johnathan Hankins is still a free agent as is Keenan Robinson, two guys they’d like to retain because of their desire to keep last year’s defense together.
In order to bring both Hankins and Robinson back while also potentially filling a couple more holes on the roster, here are four ways to save critical cap space moving forward.
4. Trading Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Most of you will hate this idea, heck, I hate this idea – but it’s still an option.
If the Giants were to deal Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a draft pick, they could save a boatload of cap space, as his cap hit for 2017 is $9 million.
Obviously, in return, they wouldn’t be getting a top draft pick (as reported by Raanan a while back), but it would clear up significant room for a move in free agency.
3. Cut Guys
Letting go J.T. Thomas would save the team $3 million in cap space; cutting Shane Vereen would save the team $3.75 million in cap space; releasing Dwayne Harris would save the Giants $1.4 million in cap space.
(according to OverTheCap.com)
Do the math and those three would give the Giants about $8 million in wiggle room, allowing them to pursue Hankins and Robinson, or possibly make other moves in free agency.
2. Extend Jason Pierre-Paul
At the moment, Jason Pierre-Paul’s cap hit is $17 million for this upcoming season – that’s a lot of moola for someone who has played more than 12 games in a season only once since 2013.
Giving him a long-term deal would allow the team to “move money around” and lower his cap hit, thus, saving the Giants legitimate cap space for a move elsewhere (roughly $3-5 million)
A few days ago, Raanan reported that the two sides are “not close” on a deal.
1. Restructure Contracts
While it seems as though Eli Manning is an easy candidate to have his contract restructured, Dan Duggan of NJ.com thinks it wouldn’t make much sense because it would drive up his cap hit over the final two years of his contract.
Duggan also mentioned that Manning’s cap hit of $19.7 million is 11th-among quarterbacks, so even though it seems high to the average fan, he’s actually not even a top-10 cap hit, as a two-time Super Bowl MVP, at his own position.
What they could do, though, is look to restructure the deals of Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison, or Olivier Vernon.
All three have cap hits over $10 million, with Jenkins and Vernon counting at least $15 million against the cap.
Getting at least one to restructure their deal would be big.