Before he accepted the New York Giants’ offer to become the team’s new general manager, Joe Schoen knew that the salary cap outlook for 2022 was downright scary looking.
But it wasn’t so scary to send Schoen running back to the safe confines of his now-former office within the Buffalo Bills’ facility. The cap, which drives what a team does regarding roster building, also wasn’t so scary that Schoen couldn’t develop a plan to improve the Giants despite any financial limitations.
To put it simply, Schoen allocated the Giants’ funds to the unit that grossly underperformed last year: the offense. According to Spotrac, the Giants currently have $93,413,234 of their $230,712,017 cap invested in the offense (an average of $2.35 million per player), putting the Giants 23rd in the league.
The Giants rank 21st in the league on defense, with $83,777,009 devoted to that unit (an average of $2.264 million per player). And on special teams, the Giants rank 25th, having allocated $5,030,462 to their three specialists, an average of $1.676 million per player.
On offense, the Giants’ highest cap figure belongs to receiver Kenny Golladay, who is due to count for a cool $21.15 million against the 2022 cap, or 10.24 percent of the cap. Behind him are two players on their rookie deals, left tackle Andrew Thomas ($8.821 million) and quarterback Daniel Jones ($8.365 million).
On defense, defensive lineman Leonard Williams leads the way with a $27.3 million cap hit (13.21 percent of the team’s cap), followed by cornerback Adoree’ Jackson at $9.288 million (4.5 percent) and inside linebacker Blake Martinez at $7.676 million (3.72 percent) .
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Unfortunately for the Giants, who entered the 2022 off-season with no breathing room—New York had to cut guys just to get into compliance with the cap—this means that they’ve had to incur some dead money against their books.
Spotrac currently has the Giants with the seventh-largest dead money total ($29.241 million, a hair under the Saints’ $29.397 million). New York’s top three highest dead money hits are cornerback James Bradberry ($11.27 million), defensive back Logan Ryan ($11.45 million), and offensive tackle Nate Solder ($4 million).
Schoen’s strategy seems to be to rip the band-aid off now and clear any financial oversights made by the prior regime off the books. This way, starting next year, when Schoen and the Giants will hopefully be looking to extend quarterback Daniel Jones and/or running back Saquon Barkley if both have solid years, they will have a clean slate yielding optimal cap space.
While it’s way too early to get excited about the Giants’ 2023 cap space, Over the Cap currently has them with $53.354 million for next year with no dead money set to hit the cap. That’s the fifth-most cap space projected for 2023, though again, that number will change once the Giants reach the 53-man limit.
Still More to Be Done
Finally, it’s worth noting that among the top paid players at each position, Williams is tied with DeForest Buckner at $21 million, making him the only Giant to hit the top-paid list at each position.
And in going back to the point about the 2023 cap looking a lot healthier, the Giants currently have one player—Williams—projected to count for more than 10 percent of next year’s estimated $225 million cap, Williams ($26.3 million) counting for 12.05 percent of that total figure.
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