How the Giants Can Fit Deone Bucannon into their Salary Cap
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released ILB Deone Bucannon just before they boarded a plane for their weekend game against the Carolina Panthers in London.
While there's been no word out of the Giants, who themselves are getting ready to hit the road for their Thursday night game against New England, already there are rumblings among the Giants fan base that general manager Dave Gettleman should inquire about a possible reunion between Bucannon and Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
If Bucannon can pass a physical, such a move would make sense given his experience playing for Bettcher in Arizona and what he could potentially bring to a struggling Giants defense that is currently averaging 279.4 passing yards per game, fifth-most in the NFL.
But what about the financial aspects? Could the Giants make it work?
The answer is a resounding, "Yes."
Bucannon received a one-year deal from the Bucs that included a $1.05 million base salary and a $1.45 million roster bonus, the latter of which has already been paid out.
That means Bucannon was due another $679,411 on his Bucs' base salary had he finished out the 2019 season with them; however because he was on their Week 1 roster, that money is guaranteed.
If he were to agree to the minimum base salary of $805,000 (commensurate with his accrued NFL experience), Bucannon wouldn't be taking that much of a pay cut from what he was due to earn with the Bucs.
All the Giants would have to do in at that point is swap out ILB Nate Stupar, who, according to OvertheCap, also has a base salary of $805,000, and use that money for Bucannon.
That means the Giants salary cap space wouldn't change and the Giants would get a player who not only can instantly upgrade their defense but who, because of his familiarity with the system, would be ready to go from Day 1.
Let's talk about the timing and why that also favors the Giants.
Even if both sides were interested in one another, chances are the deal won't get done in time for this week's game against the Patriots.
With the Giants having 10 days before their next game--ironically a home game against the Arizona Cardinals on October 20--if they and Buchanon were to enter into a deal by the end of the weekend, there is no reason to think Bucannon couldn't be ready to play against his (and Bettcher's) old team.
Lastly, from an injury perspective, the Giants' only long-term injury concern right now appears to be receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), who earlier this week a source said could "miss some time."
While that wouldn't be good news for Shepard and the Giants, if they are able to get back running backs Wayne Gallman (concussion) and Saquon Barkley (ankle) and tight end Evan Engram (knee) by that game, the Giants should be able to carry Shepard until he's ready to return while not having to add another offensive skill position player to the roster.
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