Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll will have a war chest to deploy after a surprise playoff run in their first season at the helm. The Giants are currently projected to have roughly $54 million in cap space this spring, according to Over The Cap. That is the third-most in the NFL, trailing only the Bears and Falcons.
But just how far that goes remains to be seen. Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones are priority free agents. Dexter Lawrence, Xavier McKinney and Andrew Thomas could be extended — and in the case of the first two, may push the envelope to get paid. And there are still many holes to fill on the roster. Saturday’s blowout loss to the Eagles made that obvious. So Schoen will look to make some cuts to free up more cap space.
The good news: There are moves to be made. The bad news: There are not necessarily many of them.
Here is a look at some of the Giants who could be cap casualties this offseason (all numbers via OTC):
WR Kenny Golladay. Not much needs to be said here. Golladay’s heroic block against the Vikings will not change anything. The Giants will part ways with one of the biggest free agent busts in franchise history as soon as they can. They will save $6.7 million in cap space while eating $14.7 million in dead money. Golladay could be a post-June 1 cut to spread out the hit, but it’s hard to imagine that will make sense for the Giants from a roster-building perspective.
DT Leonard Williams. He’s scheduled to have the team’s biggest 2023 cap hit at a whopping $32.26 million after being restructured to free up 2022 space. The Giants would only free up $12 million in cap space while eating $20 million in dead money. That does not make much sense for a productive player at a premium position. Williams said he would consider a pay cut, but let’s be real. That won’t happen. Schoen could extend Williams and throw in some new guaranteed money to lessen his cap hit. But that would be another instance of can-kicking. It likely makes the most sense for the Giants to play out the final real year of the deal (Williams has a 2024 void year) and go from there.
CB Adoree’ Jackson. This is an interesting case. The Giants would eat a $10 million cap hit, but they would save $9 million. Jackson has been good when he is on the field, but he’s missed 11 regular season games in two years here. It could go either way. A restructured deal may be the most likely outcome.
K Graham Gano. He makes the list because the Giants would shed roughly $2.8 million in cap space by cutting Gano. But it would not make much sense for a returning playoff team to dump such a productive kicker. An extension would make sense.
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