sterling shepard giants
Syndication: The Record

The Giants and Dave Gettleman’s front office are making moves to clear cap space ahead of a crucial 2021 season.

There are always ways to free up cap space — one of which is to convert base salary portions into signing bonuses.

The Giants took this specific route with wide receiver Sterling Shepard, turning $5.985 million of his salary into the bonus. ESPN’s Field Yates reported the news Wednesday.

The move causes Shepard’s 2022 and 2023 cap hits to increase by nearly $2 million but frees nearly $4 million in 2021 cap space for New York.

Shepard’s base salary for this coming season is now $990,000 while the 2022 and 2023 cap hits are respectively $12.495 million and $13.495 million.

What’s interesting, however, is this should make it that much more difficult to have Shepard be a cap casualty after this season. Shepard’s dead cap in 2022 would be nearly $8 million.

After inking a four-year, $41 million extension ahead of the 2019 season, Shepard’s 2021 cap hit of $5.010 million is the 11th-highest on the team.

The Giants now have a little more than $6.96 million in cap space with their regular-season opener just four days away, per Spotrac. You figure they would like to get that crucial number closer to $10 million considering they will need financial resources for any sort of in-season emergency.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.