Following the most losses ever in franchise history, the New York Giants will have to rebuild this offseason. What’s worrisome is that they aren’t exactly primed to make a big splash.
The Giants look to have tight financial constraints with an estimated $24 million in salary cap space heading into free agency. This doesn’t exactly give them a ton of flexibility or allow them to be big spenders, even as their 3-13 record suggests they will need some serious help to get back into the playoffs.
It all makes for a bit of a headache for a team with several pressing needs and perhaps some limited resources to do so.
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The Giants can save some money by cutting some veterans, some moves of which seem inevitable at this point. Jason Fitzgerald, founder of OverTheCap.com, notes that several prominent free agents could be cut by the Giants and potentially could double the size of their bankroll heading into free agency.
Notable among this list is wide receiver Brandon Marshall, signed as a free agent by the Giants last offseason but who struggled along with the rest of the offense. Marshall missed the second half of the year due to injury and his being released by the Giants could save them $5.1 million against the salary cap this year. In addition, Fitzgerald notes that fellow wide receiver Dwayne Harris ($2.4 million saved), offensive lineman John Jerry ($2.5 million saved) as well as cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($6.5 million saved) and Janoris Jenkins ($7 million saved) could all potentially breathe new life into the team’s current cap restraints.
The release of those five players would free up a potential $23.5 million for the Giants to spend in the rebuild. They will potentially need it.
Not only will the Giants need to be active in free agency to plug several big holes along the offensive line and in the secondary, they also have to do some things in-house to keep their core in place.
Safety Landon Collins and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are both in need of new deals as their rookie contracts are fast turning the calendar’s pages. Neither will come cheaply.
Both are building blocks for a team in rebuild mode.
“Both should be at the top of the pay scale for their positions,” Fitzgerald told Metro. “Beckham is probably between $17.5 and $18 million a year while Collins will probably be close to $12 million a season.”
Fitzgerald also notes that cutting quarterback Eli Manning would save the Giants about $9.8 million against the cap in 2018. But general manager Dave Gettleman has signaled that he sees the veteran quarterback and four-time Pro Bowl selection as part of the team for the foreseeable future.
The Jets are primed to be in the ballpark of $100 million heading into free agency according to some calculations.