By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
The New York Giants have $16.8M in cap space with lots of decisions to make before free agency begins. The Giants have 22 free agents on their roster, however; they have 10 players in existing contracts that they need to make a decision on before the start of 2021. This will be a two-part series breaking down the first top 5 players and what would be the best option for the Giants.
- Evan Engram (TE): Despite his Pro Bowl selection this season, Engram has never lived up to or developed into the tight end most football analyst had projected. There were the injuries and dropped passes that frustrated not only the fans, but the Giants organization as well. By finding a trading partner for Engram, the Giants would add $6M to their cap space and the best part would be that they wouldn’t have any dead money at all. I suspect that Engram could bring back at least a late Day 2 pick. Verdict: Trade him for the best offer.
- Jabrill Peppers (S): The signing of Logan Ryan and the emergence of Xavier McKinney could have implications on the immediate future of Jabrill Peppers as a Giant. I could see Peppers being a valuable trading chip this off season or possibly before the 2021 trading deadline as he carries a $6.77M for 2021 with no dead money. Verdict: Hold onto him until the 2021 deadline.
- Golden Tate (WR): Tate’s value isn’t nearly what it was the last time he was traded back in 2017, so I expect Tate to be a cap casualty. The Giants would add more cap space and less dead money by waiting until after June 1st to release him; which would free up $8.5M towards the cap space, but only $2.3M in dead money. Verdict: Release him After June 1st.
- Kevin Zeitler (OG): The Giants would add $12M to the cap and only absorb $2.5M in dead money if they were able to find a trading partner for Zeitler; which would probably bring back a Day 3 pick at this point. That added pick could go towards drafting another Offensive Guard to compete for playing time in 2021. Verdict: Trade him for the best offer.
- Nate Solder (OT): Solder sat out the 2020 season for COV ID-19 reasons and there have been some rumors that Solder could retire, but nothings confirmed at this time. If Solders decides to play in 2021, the most logical move would be to release him after June 1st; which would free up $10.5M in cap space, but add roughly $6M in dead money. Verdict: Release him after June 1st.
The Giants will have slightly more than their current cap space ($16.8M) with a few cuts prior to the start of Free Agency. However; if they decide to trade Engram and Zeitler before the draft for additional picks and then release Tate and Solder after June 1st, they will add $37M to their remaining cap space and only absorb $10.8M in dead money just with these moves. Keep an eye out for Part 2 of my remaining 5 player’s the Giants need to make a decision on.