New York Giants Notebook: Projected Salary Cap Space Takes an Alarming Turn

Thanks to the Proven Performance Escalator Clause in the CBA, any cap space the Giants were looking to carry over into 2021 will not only be gone, but the team could find itself in the red and in need of having to make some widescale moves.
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The NFL currently has no idea as to what the league-wide 2021 salary cap will be, with some reports placing it as low as $175 million and one more recent report by Pro Football Talk claiming the cap could land somewhere in the $180 million range.

If either scenario holds true, the Giants are potentially looking at beginning the league year in the red thanks to four members from the 2018 draft class received pay raises for the final year of their respective contracts under the league’s “Proven Performance Escalator” clause. 

Per Article 7, Section 4 of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement there are three qualification levels based on the percentage of snaps on offense or defense a player takes part in. 

The escalator kicks in for the fourth and final year of the player’s rookie contract, and the pay increases equate to either the right of first refusal RFA tender (Level 1); the ROFR RFA tender plus $250,000 (Level 2), or the 2nd round RFA tender (Level 3).

The four Giants who qualified for a raise in 2021, according to Over the Cap, include:

  • Guard Will Hernandez ($2.37 million to $3.057 million).
  • Edge Lorenzo Carter ($1.299 million to $2.445 million).
  • Defensive lineman BJ Hill ($1.282 million to $2.44 million) 
  • Cornerback Isaac Yiadom ($954,250 to $2.183 million).

The total of the four increases comes to just over $4.2 million, money which will be charged against the Giants 2021 cap.

If the salary cap comes in at $176 million, the amount Over the Cap has been using as a base figure, the sum of the four adjustments puts the Giants in the red in terms of cap space by $3,373,297. 

That means the Giants would have to cut veteran contracts and perhaps even look to restructure others just to get at the cap, let alone have money to do what they need to do.

Saquon Barkley Plans to Rehab with Odell Beckham Jr

According to an ESPN report, Giants running back Saquon Barkley is planning to spend some time rehabbing from ACL surgery with one-time teammate Odell Beckham Jr.

Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season and underwent surgery on October 30. Beckham tore his ACL on October 25 and underwent surgery on November 10.

ESPN reported that Barkley had been rehabbing at the Giants facility in East Rutherford and will continue to do so until an opportunity plans to connect with Beckham, who is based on the West Coast.

Beckham and Barkley were Giants teammates in 2018, Barkley’s rookie season. The following year, Beckham was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a package that included safety Jabrill Peppers, and two draft picks that the Giants turned into defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II and Oshane Ximines in the 2019 draft.

Barkley also told ESPN that it would be “dope” if there were opportunities to spend some of his rehab with others around the league who are rehabbing from ACL surgery, such as Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Steelers defender Bud Dupree.

Players from other teams rehabbing together isn't anything new, as in doing so, they form support groups while they seek to overcome their respective injuries. In creating such groups, players sometimes engage in friendly competitions that can help speed up their progress.

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