The savings may not be realized this year, but the New York Giants got a bit more flexibility under the salary cap with a move that might not be popular but was very necessary.
The rebuild is clearly on from general manager Dave Gettleman. This is a team that was 3-13 a year ago and is now clearly focused on getting younger. But the Giants trade of Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t as much about what the Giants got in return — which truthfully wasn’t very much. It was about salary cap space and especially flexibility.
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And while the Giants won’t realize too much space this year as the deal only opened up $2.5 million under the salary cap, the Giants do get room for 2019 when they need it the most.
“I read the trade a lot like a salary dump. While Pierre-Paul did not play at an elite level he still had 8.5 sacks last year. He is just a year removed from being a Franchise player, meaning this time last year it would have taken two picks to trade for him,” said Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com. Fitzgerald is a noted salary cap expert and advises teams around the league on their cap situation.
“Though the team only saves $2.5 million on the cap this year they will save his $12.5 million salary which will increase their cap room by that amount next season. The Giants were projected to have one of the tightest cap rooms next year but this trade will move them much closer to the league average and give them a better chance to hit free agency hard, especially if they also part ways with some of their more expensive talent next year.”
Money as well that the Giants can and will use next year to try and retain their core.
Both wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Landon Collins will be coming off their rookie contracts. These players are due raises and in the case of Collins, it will be a massive one. The Giants can use this savings to retain both of their Pro Bowl players and keep the identity of the franchise in place.
The team has roughly $6 million under the salary cap according to most estimates.