New York Giants 2024 Salary Cap Checkup

New York Giants 2024 Salary Cap Checkup

What does the New York Giants salary cap look like and where might they get more ?

As the New York Giants brass completes its evaluations of the players that passed through the 2023 roster, there will be plenty of decisions for general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll to make.


Before those decisions came down, Schoen no doubt did a thorough review of the team’s salary cap situation to see what he was going to have and what he was going to need to accomplish the identified goals. So, although the cap situation will be fluid over the next several months, let’s look at where things currently stand with the cap.


The Giants’ Current Cap Situation

As NFL postseason accounting continues–this is the process in which it’s determined who hit incentives in their contracts and who did not, the latter group resulting in a cap credit on the 2023 cap space, which gets rolled over to 2024, the Giants, as of January 18, have $23.99 million in total space and $16.156 million in effective space, the effective cap space putting them 18th in the league.


The league has not announced the 2024 cap figure. This means all numbers reported are based on an estimated $242 million cap figure league-wide, which does not include any rollover from the 2023 league year. According to the NFLPA public cap report, the Giants are projected to have $1,521,110 left over from the 2023 league year to roll over into 2024.)


The effective cap space is important in this instance as it’s the space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster. The Top 51 rule goes into effect on the first day of the new league year, which this year is March 13.


For information purposes, the Giants, who hold the sixth spot in the 2024 draft, are estimated to need $13.398 million for their rookie class; however, because the rookie signings will push players out of the Top 51, the actual difference in what is needed is $7.833 million. That amount has been accounted for in the available effective cap space.


Lastly, let’s discuss dead money. The Giants already have $11.054 million in dead money against their books, the sixth-highest total in the league. Of that amount, $10,636,389 comes from the Leonard Williams trade.


That dead money total is going to grow, however, once contracts are void. The Giants have three players with voidable years that kick in soon, including cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Those three contracts alone will account for approximately $6.488 million in additional dead money with zero savings on those three deals.


How Can They Get More Cap Space?

As always, the Giants will need to trim some dead weight from their cap and, at least for now, restructure/extend some contracts.


Here are a few possibilities.


OL Mark Glowinski (cut). Glowinski was demoted from the starting lineup last year, and now that he no longer has guaranteed money owed him, he’s probably not going to see the final year of his contract. Cutting him would yield a $5.682 million savings with just a $1.5 million dead money hit, and it’s a no-brainer decision.


WR Darius Slayton (cut). Slayton finished as the team’s receiving yardage leader in 2023 for the fourth time in the last five years. Cutting him would yield $6.2 million in savings, including $2.5 million of base salary and a $2.4 million roster bonus due March 18.


Slayton is not a No. 1 but a decent enough player who happens to be in the final year of his deal. He finished 10th in the league in YAC; the second year in a row, he placed in the top 10 league-wide.


That said, the belief is the Giants could be eyeing the addition of a No. 1 receiver to a receiving corps that will include Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt. If that happens, it likely makes no sense for the Giants to carry Slayton at his current $7.9 million cap figure.


Might a trade be the answer? Slayton drew some mild interest as an unrestricted free agent last year before re-upping with the Giants, so one can’t rule out that possibility.


K Graham Gano (restructure). Before a season-ending knee surgery, Gano had signed a contract extension. In 2024, he’s due to count for $7.211 million against the cap, of which $3.085 million is his base salary and $2 million is his roster bonus.


While the expectation is that Gano will be able to kick by the time the season starts, he could be a candidate to have his contract restructured to lower his cap hit. Gano has just $1.25 million in prorated bonuses owed in 2025 and 2026 and no guaranteed money due, whereas in 2024, he has $5.0825 million in guaranteed money owed to him.


Don’t be surprised if the Giants convert that guaranteed money into a signing bonus, which would add $1.695 million to his prorated bonus total but could open approximately $3 million in space.


LT Andrew Thomas (restructure). Thomas is due to count for $23.675 million against the 2024 cap, $19.75 million of which is guaranteed. If the Giants need to restructure, they could convert that guaranteed money into an upfront signing bonus, which would drop an additional $3.835 million into the remaining years of the contract–including 2028-2029, when Thomas’s original prorated bonus runs out.


What About Daniel Jones and Darren Waller?

Daniel Jones has a whopping $47.105 million cap hit in 2024, a crazy high amount for a guy coming off a torn ACL. As much as some fans might want Jones gone, it’s not happening, as to do so means the Giants would get hit with a $69.315 million dead money charge that they cannot afford.


Don’t expect Schoen to touch that deal unless it’s as a last resort, especially if the Giants draft a quarterback this spring. Jones has $36 million guaranteed in 2024, so if the Giants were to convert that $36 million into a signing bonus, an additional $12 million would be added to his prorated bonus, nullifying any potential cap savings that can be recognized starting in 2025.


In an absolute emergency, the Giants could tack on voidable years to lessen the brunt of a restructuring, but if they intend to exit the deal, why prolong the effect once it’s been removed from the books?


As for Darren Waller, remember that Schoen, at his year-end press conference, sounded as though he was ready to run it back with Waller in 2024. He might have no choice, though, as Waller has a $14.083 million cap hit, of which $10.525 million is the base salary.


While that’s a heavy sum for a guy who hasn’t been able to stay healthy, the problem is that if Schoen restructures the contract, he will add more dead money down the line, a practice that has to stop becoming the norm.


Cutting Waller would save the team $6.707 million with a $7.376 million dead money hit. Ideally, you don’t want to get into a scenario where your dead money hit is more than your savings. If the Giants wait another year, their savings increase to $10.541 million with the dead money just $4.917 million, assuming they don’t touch Waller’s contract.


It would be shocking if Schoen touches Waller’s contract in a quest to find more cap space.


What About the Franchise Tag?

The Giants have two players they might consider using the franchise tag: running back Saquon Barkley ($12.419 million) and safety Xavier McKinney ($17.22 million).


Don’t expect McKinney to get the tag, even if the Giants add to their $16.156 million effective cap space. McKinney’s departure seems all but certain.


Barkley? They could place the tag on him without reaching a new multiyear deal, but unlike last year when the Giants could afford to carry Barkley on the tag if a new deal wasn’t reached, they really can’t this year.


What we potentially see happening is that absent a new deal being reached, Barkley will get the tag, which would still allow the Giatns to make at least one splash in free agency. Still, if a multiyear deal isn’t reached, they may try to move him to a team that will give him that sort of deal (ideally before the draft out of respect to Barkley).


Final Thoughts

Some sort of salary cap gymnastics will have to be done annually. The trick is to minimize kicking the can down the road, something the Giants can do a better job of starting this year.

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