Giants special teams wasn't so 'special' when it mattered most
Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Dwayne Harris (17) is tackled by members of the Green Bay Packers on a punt return during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants special teamer Dwayne Harris could on the chopping block this offseason.

Despite making his first Pro Bowl last season as a special teams’ gunner, Dwayne Harris and the New York Giants could be parting ways.

The Giants are attempting to renegotiate the terms of Harris’ contract which includes a $3.8 million cap hit in 2017. If the team does cut ties with him, they’ll be on the books for $2.4 million in dead money.

Obviously, the Giants would love to have Harris’ talents on special teams, but not at the almost $4 million price tag. When the Giants originally signed Harris to a five-year, $17.5 million deal back in 2015, it was with the belief he would be the electrifying kick returner with them he was during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.

However, though he was a dynamic returner during his first year with the team, Harris regressed in 2016. He recorded the second lowest kick and punt return averages of his career last season.

Harris made up for his lost value by being exceptional as a gunner, as evident by his Pro Bowl credentials, but it’s simply impossible to justify his current salary if that’s all he brings to the table. In comparison, New England Patriots’ gunner Matthew Slater has earned six straight nods to the Pro Bowl at the position and had a cap hit of $1.59 million last year. Slater also carried a base salary of just $900,000.

There’s no way Harris’ cap number should be over double that of a guy like Slater. Though Slater will never be on Harris’ level as a kick returner, even during his down 2016 season, those salary numbers simply can’t stay where they are.

Harris will likely either have to accept the Giants’ proposed pay cut soon or he’ll be playing elsewhere next year.

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