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Folks, we’re roughly ten days away from free agency and things are about to start getting really interesting with players being traded, cut, signed, and franchise tagged.
The Giants are one of the teams with way more questions than answers. The roster is completely devoid of talent thanks to the Gettleman/Judge tenure and more veterans will be cut or traded. Joe Schoen said that he’d like to get to $40M of cap space which will be impossible without cutting or trading more players.
So we wanted to let you know what we know and what we’ve been hearing about certain players so that you’re caught up to speed and not caught off guard this week when guys are cut or moved.
Let’s break the situations down!
Saquon Barkley Trade Rumors
When Joe Schoen said at the NFL Combine that he’s open to trading Saquon Barkley, Giants fans were divided on the process. Many fans (myself included) were happy that the Giants would consider moving on from him. Other fans (mainly those who defended Dave Gettleman until the bitter end) were upset.
The bottom line to me is that moving on from Saquon Barkley would create $7.2M of cap space in 2022 AND the team wouldn’t extend him to a long term contract. That’s a win-win in my eyes, even if the return is only a 4th round pick.
Will the Giants go for that? Probably not. It’s going to be really tough to get ownership to sign off on trading their most marketable player and former second overall pick for a day three pick. The Giants could also say that they could get a day three pick as a compensatory pick if/when Barkley walks next offseason and may hold off.
When it’s all said and done, I unfortunately think Barkley will be back in blue for another season.
James Bradberry Trade/Release
Time is running out for the Giants to decide what they’re going to do with cornerback James Bradberry. If the Giants trade or cut James Bradberry then the team will get over $12M of cap space in doing so. Considering this team is going nowhere next season and Bradberry is already twenty-eight years old, trading him seems logical if they can find a suitor.
There’s only one problem I see with trying to unload Bradberry via a trade: Whoever trades for Bradberry will be on the hook for the remaining $13.5M of his contract in 2022 which is a steep price to pay for a guy who wasn’t incredible last season.
While word on the street is that his market value is a third round pick, I have a hard time believing that the Giants will get that for Bradberry with that cap hit unless the trading team signs him to a contract extension. Ultimately, I think someone will trade for Bradberry since cornerback is such a valuable position.
Sterling Shepard Release/Paycut
Sterling Shepard has had some bad luck in his career when it comes to injuries. He’s on the shelf a lot, had some concussion issues in the past, and is now recovering from a torn achilles he suffered in Week 15 of the 2021 season.
There is absolutely no chance that the Giants are going to pay Shepard his $12.5M cap hit in 2022 so the team has offered him a paycut. They offered him the veterans minimum salary of $1.1M and he has until this week to decide if he’s going to take it or be released. If he does take this paycut then his cap hit will be $5.1M in 2022 and the team would likely add a void year to his 2023 contract year so that he can walk via free agency next year.
Blake Martinez Release
Martinez is coming off of a torn ACL, he has a $14M cap hit in 2022, and the Giants could save $8.5M by cutting him. He better not be on the team in 2022 unless he takes a massive pay cut. No word here on what the Giants are looking to do.
Logan Ryan Release
Dave Gettleman gave Logan Ryan one of the worst contracts I’ve ever seen during the 2020 season and the Giants are beginning to pay for it both literally and philosophically right now. The Giants would LOVE to get rid of him but they’re not going to be able to since it would create under $1M of cap relief and $11.5M in dead money this year. So the Giants are likely going to be forced to keep him this year and cut him next offseason where his release would save $9.3M.
Think of Logan Ryan’s contract as a parting gift from Dave Gettleman.
Nuts and Bolts
- Darius Slayton could be moved for a day 3 pick if the Giants are able to assess their wide receiver position properly in free agency
- It doesn’t sound like the Giants are going to go after any big name free agent quarterbacks when free agency arrives. Look for them to get a cheap backup.
- Walter Football has reported that the Giants met with Liberty Quarterback Malik Willis and Ole Miss Quarterback Matt Corral.
- Joe Schoen will look to sure up the offensive line during free agency next week. There won’t be any big swings but the team should be able to find some bargains who can come in and contribute at a fine level