By Michael Stewart @golferbad
Introduction: The NFL draft is less than a month away and although GM Dave Gettleman and the rest of the Giant’s brain trust are working their draft board. They are also working hard on increasing their current cap space which stands at approximately $20M after restructuring James Bradberry and Blake Martinez contracts (with approximately $12.9M set aside for the upcoming draft picks).
When you look at the Giants current roster and each player’s respected contracts; there are some moves that can be made to increase the cap space to perhaps land a big-time player.
- Leonard Williams: Gettleman placed the franchise tag on Williams at $16.1M. Gettleman has already publicly displayed his man-crush on Williams, so it would make sense that the GM is working on giving Williams a multi-year contract. It would also make sense if that this is true, then Gettleman should try to have it in place as soon as possible. The projected contract for Williams would be a 4 year/$50M ($12.5M per); which would give the Giants an extra $3.6M towards the cap.
- Kevin Zeitler: Gettleman could look to restructure Kevin Zeitler’s contract as it would make sense as Zeitler is in the Giants plans for the next couple of seasons. Zeitler was the Giants best offensive linemen in 2019 (PFF rating) and is signed through 2021. Based on resources (Over the Cap) the Giants could save roughly $4.5M in cap space.
- Sterling Shepard: The Giants could view Shepard the same way they viewed Kevin Zeitler and that’s to restructure his contract as I don’t see them looking to trade him at this point. The projected savings if the Giants decide to go this route would be roughly $3.6M.
Release/Trade Pre-June 1st
- Spencer Pulley: Pulley has been regulated to a backup role and that shouldn’t change heading into 2020 as it’s highly likely the Giants will draft a center to compete for the starting role in 2020. Pulley’s departure would save the Giants $2.75 in cap space without any addition of dead money. I believe the Giants plan on re-signing Jon Halapio, who would cost less than what Pulley is making and would be viewed more as a backup lineman at this point.
Release/Trade Post-June 1st
- Nate Solder: This is a big one as the timeline for the Giants to trade/release Solder is vital to their amount of both cap space and dead money. If the Giants decide to move from Nate Solder they must wait until after June 1st and here’s why:
- Pre-June 1st trade or cut would only give the Giants an extra $6.5M in cap space, but a whopping $13M in dead money. Cutting Solder after June 1st would give the Giants an extra $10M in cap space, but $9.5M in dead money. The best scenario and probably the most difficult one would be to find a willing team and trade Solder after June 1st as that would give the Giants the best return with cap savings at $13M and reduce the dead money to $6.5M.
- Golden Tate: The Giants could view Tate very similar to Nate Solder’s situation and look to trade him after June 1st as that would benefit them the most in cap space at $8M and only $2.35M in dead money.
Final Thoughts: In total that would give the Giants an additional $18.85M in cap space added to the $20M for a total of $38.85M to use this season or roll it over for next season.
Now some of these moves if they were made or able to make would need to wait until after June 1st (Solder and Tate). Whether or not GM Gettleman has any of these moves in play remains to be seen. Realistically, I don’t see all of these moves occurring, but I do see at least a couple of moves that are very doable and it makes a ton of sense.