The NFL and NFLPA have concluded their respective review of any remaining player incentives and bonuses earned and unearned to arrive at a final figure for every team reflecting the amount of unused cap space by every team in 2020.
According to the numbers compiled by ESPN’s Field Yates, the New York Giants have $2,933,855 in unused cap money from 2020.
That means that the Giants will be able to roll that figure into their 2021 total where, if, for example, the league-wide cap figure is set at $180.5 million, the Giants would have a new floor of $183,433,855 (this before factoring in the two recent cuts (receiver Golden Tate and David Mayo).
The Giants gained a little more than $8.447 million following the release of Tate and Mayo, which became official Thursday. According to Over the Cap, those two moves give the Giants approximately $6,064,994 million in cap space (not counting the rollover amount that was finalized this week).
The Giants, whose dead money pot grew to $7,942,041 following the release of Tate (Mayo had no dead money), have $169,586,820 committed to 65 contracts.
But they’re going to need to clear a lot more money to do what they need to do, among them, potentially using the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams, a tag that could cost them slightly over $19 million.
The Giants, much like the rest of the NFL, are expected to make additional cuts, and potentially contract restructures over the next several days.
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Report: Kevin Zeitler on the Trade Block
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports has reported that the Giants are looking to trade veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler.
Zeitler is in the final year of his contract and is due to count for $14.5 million against the cap. The Giants would save $12 million in cap space and be hit with a $2.5 million dead money charge if they move on from Zeitler.
There is a popular misconception that teams might shy away from trading for the 31-year-old Zeitler due to his contract.
In reality, since all the acquiring team would be getting is the remaining base salary, if a team wanted Zeitler badly enough, they could trade for the contract on the condition that a restructure be agreed to before completing the deal. (The Giants did this when they acquired linebacker Alec Ogletree from the Rams.)
However, if the Giants have made Zeitler available for trade, the challenge is that teams now know that New York is looking to shed his contract from their books. If an interested team knows a player is about to be cut, it will likely wait things out for the original team to release the player rather than surrender draft assets.
Zeitler was originally acquired in a trade with the Browns after the 2018 season in exchange for defensive end Olivier Vernon.
Zeitler has been one of the Giants offensive line's most consistent and steady performers in each of his two seasons here, but his current cap figure makes it very difficult for the team to continue carrying him at that rate.
The Giants could also look to restructure Zeitler's deal to lower his cap number. However, they would merely be kicking the can down the road, as restructuring his contract would mean converting part of his $12 million salary to a signing bonus that would be spread over multiple years (at least two) to ease the stress of the additional prorated money.
If the report of the Giants wanting to trade Zeitler is accurate to rid themselves of his contract, they would simply be better off ripping the bandage off and moving on rather than potentially courting dead money scenarios against future caps.
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