Three Potential Salary Cap Cuts that Might Draw the Giants' Interest
Before too long, NFL teams will begin trimming the fat of their roster, ridding themselves of overpriced contracts that, for one reason or another, no longer fit into the long-term plans.
The Giants, whose roster rebuild enters the third off-season under general manager Dave Gettleman and its first under new head coach Joe Judge, will likely be in the market for a few veterans capable of shoring up some of the deficiencies on the roster.
According to Over the Cap, the Giants are projected to have $61,887,217 of cap space (based on a $200 million projected salary cap league-wide). Of note, the Giants are one of 11 teams that have not yet met the CBA mandate requiring teams to spend at least 89% of the salary cap over four years (the period having commenced in 2017).
However, as OTC notes, the Giants are projected to meet that mandate just by signing their incoming 2020 draft class, for which they’re estimated to need $13.090 million based on their draft position and current number of picks.
What does this all have to do with free agency? The Giants have managed to get themselves not a position in which they can spend judiciously on players that can help them be competitive right away at those spots where they grossly lack depth while at the same time, reserving some cash for contract extensions that they might want to get done before the end of the 2020 league year.
Expect this strategy to occur as with this being the final league year of the current CBA since there is currently no provision for teams to carry over any remaining cap space from 2020 to 2021. (If a new CBA is ratified in time, it’s expected that this provision will be included.)
Getting back to the business at hand, here is a look at some potential salary-cap casualties from other teams that could draw the Giants’ interest if they indeed shake free.
RB Tevin Coleman, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds | 49ers
If nothing else, the Giants learned that Saquon Barkley is indeed human, which sadly means he’s not immune to suffering an injury. And if the Giants want to optimize Barkley’s time here, they must get another running back to take on some of Barkley’s workload.
If Wayne Gallman, who has another year left on his contract, isn’t that guy, perhaps Tevin Coleman of the defending NFC Champions could be.
With Raheem Mostert stepping to the forefront, Coleman’s time with the defending NFC Champions could be coming to an end unless he agrees to take a pay cut from his $4.9 million cap hit in 2020.
Coleman is a high-motor and physical running back who thrives on contact and on barreling through for the big gains, but who must use better judgment, particularly in the open field, when seeing out contact vs. avoiding it in favor of the potential extra yards (and career longevity).
He has quick feet, which allow him to get in and out of holes and would be a good fit for a zone-based blocking scheme as opposed to playing in a scheme where he needs to wait for holes to develop.
The drawback to spending money on a veteran at this position, though, is that it might not be the best use of cap dollars, not when the player is going to have minimal touches given the talent that’s in front of him.
But if the Giants are leaning toward lightening Barkley’s workload—and they should consider doing so, especially in pass blocking situations which in two seasons has not exactly been a strength of his game—Coleman might be worth a look.
Edge Leonard Floyd, 6-foot-4, 251 pounds | Bears
The Giants were said to have interest in Leonard Floyd back in the 2016 draft, but the Bears famously jumped over them, moving from No. 11 to No. 9 to grab Floyd, whom they envisioned as the next Von Miller.
That vision, of course, didn’t come close to panning out. Floyd, after an impressive rookie season in which he posted 7.0 sacks in 12 games played, has seen his sack production drop every year since.
Floyd, who carries a $13.22 million cap hit with Chicago in 2020 that becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the new league year (March 18), hasn’t lived up to that kind of premium dollars and could find himself as a cap cut on a Bears team that currently is projected to have $4,929,361 of space for 2020.
If he does end up sent packing, that doesn’t mean that Floyd, in a streamlined role, can’t be productive for another team, assuming he’s willing to take what will probably be a “prove it” deal.
Floyd’s strength has been in coverage, where, per Pro Football Focus, he has a career 96.5 rating and who in 34 receptions allowed, has only surrendered one receiving touchdown.
Linebacker is one spot that the Giants need a lot of help with, not just from a pass-rushing perspective but also in coverage, where per Football Outsiders, the Giants had the 31st ranked pass defense.
Having seen what Floyd does well and what he doesn’t, perhaps a streamlined role that takes advantage of his coverage abilities might be just the ticket to getting more out of this athletic talent.
OT Ty Sambrailo, 6-foot-5, 315 lbs. | Falcons
Let’s be clear about something right here and now. The Giants need to give some serious thought to drafting a young offensive tackle from this deep class and get him ready to step in for Nate older at left tackle eventually.
But they also need to turn a focus on acquiring a veteran swing tackle, especially if the plan is to get Nick Gates into the starting lineup in 2020.
Ty Sambrailo could be work kicking the tires if the Falcons decide to trim his $5,718,750 cap figure from their books. The soon-to-be 28-year-old Sambrailo has experience playing both left and right tackle and even has done some work at guard.
Sambrailo saw his snap counts reduced in 2019, thanks to the arrival of Kaleb McGary.
As a result, it’s hard to fathom the Falcons keep Sambrailo on the books at his current cap figure, so if he is indeed set free, he could very well become the versatile swing tackle that the Giants haven’t had in ages.
Sneaky Needs: Check out the video at the top of this article for three sneaky needs the Giants have.