Which players will move on as the Giants look to clear cap space?
Not only are the Giants coming off a fifth straight losing season (one that resulted in four measly wins), but they are in salary cap hell — thanks, Dave Gettleman.
Due to over-spending and overall poor cap management during the Gettleman regime, the Giants must make a number of cap-friendly moves in order to eventually sign free agents to new contracts.
New general manager Joe Schoen and the front office need to cut players and possibly trade others in order to clear money off the books.
Which individuals have the Giants already parted ways with? Which contracts have they already restructured?
March 11 — LB Blake Martinez — Pay cut
The Giants have restructured the contract of linebacker Blake Martinez. The veteran was supposed to have a 2022 cap hit of $14.025 million.
The new deal will help the Giants clear cap space in order for them to properly operate this offseason.
LB Blake Martinez has restructured his contract to remain with the #Giants in 2022, per source. Martinez led the league in tackles in 2017 and has been a key staple for the GMen defensively.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 11, 2022
March 11 — TE Kaden Smith — Cut
The Giants waived Kaden Smith with a failed physical designation, per ESPN’s Field Yates. The young tight end caught only three balls in nine games this past season.
Smith went on injured reserve in December with a knee injury.
The Giants have waived TE Kaden Smith with a failed physical designation.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 11, 2022
March 10 — P Riley Dixon — Cut
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports the Giants will release punter Riley Dixon, who struggled in 2021. The $2.8 million in savings isn’t a substantial amount, but when you’re in an unfortunate cap situation, every dollar (or penny, for that matter) counts.
The Giants are releasing punter Riley Dixon, per source. Had a rough 2021. Saves them $2.8M vs cap.
Dixon averaged 46.1 yards per punt in 2019. Dipped into 44-yard range past two years.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 11, 2022
March 10 — WR Sterling Shepard — Pay cut
The Giants are bringing back wide receiver Sterling Shepard on a restructured deal. The new contract lets him hit the free-agent market in 2023 instead of 2024 (when the original deal was to expire).
Shepard signed a four-year, $41 million extension in 2019 but has had his value decline thanks to injuries and a lack of production.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 10, 2022
March 2 — TE Kyle Rudolph — Cut
The Giants inked the veteran to a two-year, $12 million deal last offseason but have released him after just one year. His release clears $5 million in cap space, and given his lack of production (26 catches, 257 yards, one touchdown in 2021) and increasing age (will be 33 in November), this was a very reasonable decision by the organization.
The status of the Giants tight end room is unclear for next season. The contracts of Evan Engram and Levine Toilolo are expiring while Kaden Smith (one year left on current deal) could be a cap casualty. The Giants re-signed Chris Myarick to a one-year deal last month and the young tight end will compete for a roster spot later this year.
Don’t be surprised if the Giants seek an established tight end in free agency and/or look to acquire one during the upcoming draft’s middle rounds.
March 2 — RB Devontae Booker — Cut
The Giants have additionally released running back Devontae Booker, who they signed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal last offseason. This release saves the team $2.1 million in cap space.
The Giants are cutting RB Devontae Booker, per source. The move creates $2.1M in cap savings while leaving $1M in dead money. Booker had 593 rushing yards last season, which tied with Saquon Barkley for the team lead.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) March 2, 2022
Although it was a questionable move to sign Booker to a multi-year deal (and give him an average annual value of $2.75 million in the process), the veteran exceeded expectations when on the field. Booker rushed for 593 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He additionally caught 40 balls for 268 yards and another score through the air.
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