Pilgrim’s Point: Cap Casualties

Jeff Pilgrim @ JeffPilgrim11

The cool thing about the NFL calendar is that there’s always something around the corner to look forward to.  Free Agency opens on March 18th, which gives us about six weeks to dream up scenarios that the Giants should act on.  If you’re a fan of the Giants like I am, you’ve had to pay close attention to the Draft and Free Agency because the team has been desperate for improvement.

Let’s have a look at the status of the roster prior to Free Agency

Giants have just over $60MM in cap space as it stands today, good for 7th most in the league.   Even better, there are a few moves we could make to get that number over $86MM.

Potential cap casualties:

Alec Ogletree (most obviously) – Giants could save $8MM if they cut ties with the disappointing Linebacker.  This should be a no-brainer as he under-performed and we’re trying to get younger.

Rhett Ellison – The aging Tight End represents another $5MM in savings if they cut him.  With the emergence of Kaden Smith to go along with Evan Engram, there are cheaper options to bring in a 3rd TE.

Nate Solder – This is a tough one.  DG dished out a massive contract for a Left Tackle that has not lived up to the contract at all.  Giants could save $6.5MM by cutting/trading him, but that would still leave $13MM in dead cap space.  Being that Joe Judge is familiar with Solder and there’s still years left on his deal, it wouldn’t make much sense to cut him now.

Golden Tate – Some have been in favor of letting Tate go, I’m not one of them.  Giants would only recoup $3M out of the $10MM he’ll make in 2020.  Besides the money, Tate constantly made tough catches and proved he can still play.  With a young squad, he’d be a solid veteran presence in the locker room.  It seems more likely to be a 2021 move the Giants would make.

Antoine Bethea – Nearly $3MM in savings to let go of him.  This should be a relatively easy decision to make.

Some combination of these moves will be made.  The Giants need major help in free agency in order to supplement the draft and this young roster.  There are studs that will be available for the Giants, and they need to bring some of them in:

Defensive Ends

  • Jadeveon Clowney 
  • Dante Fowler
  • Yannick Ngakoue

Offensive Line

  • Jack Conklin – Right Tackle
  • Joe Thuney – Guard 
  • Anthony Castonzo – Left Tackle 

Secondary

  • Trae Waynes – CB
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Safety

Admittedly, the Giants have a very tough schedule next year.  It’s so tough that 6-8 wins maybe what we’re looking at to consider it a success.  They are going in the right direction now, have cap space, high draft capital, and a solid young core.  

Being effective in Free Agency is essential to keeping us on track.

And that’s the point.

@JeffPilgrim11 

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