Jerry Reese hit the jackpot with his well-documented spending spree last offseason, but the Giants’ coffers aren’t empty and the GM can go shopping again this March if he wants.
Big Blue enters the offseason with almost $ 32 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com and based on an estimate for the 2017 cap, which has not officially been set. That’s a good chunk of change already, but a few moves could increase that space even further.
There’s no way that Big Blue will keep Victor Cruz, for example, at his current $ 9.4 million cap hit. Cutting Cruz would save the Giants $ 7.5 million against the cap. The Giants could make some other, smaller cuts, like Rashad Jennings ($ 2.5 million saved) or Dwayne Harris ($ 1.4 million), among others. Ultimately, Big Blue should be looking at overf $ 40 million in cap space this offseason, and that’s before the team has to make a tough choice on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. DRC played well this year but is expensive against the cap next season ($ 8.5 million) for a slot corner and could be a trade candidate. It’s also worth noting that Big Blue will have to allot about $ 5.5 million to their upcoming rookie draft class, per OverTheCap.com.
They’ll likely have some other expenditures, too. If the Giants want to bring back Jason Pierre-Paul, he’ll probably require a good-sized check. Let’s guess he’ll cost $ 12-14 million or so against the cap on average over the course of a deal. But even if he does and the Giants re-sign him, Big Blue still has room to make moves.
The Giants may look to bring back Jason Pierre-Paul (l.) next season after adding high-priced defensive players like Olivier Vernon (r.) last offseason.
One route could be re-signing both JPP and Johnathan Hankins – which Reese said he believes is possible. Defensive tackles don’t cost as much as ends, and Hankins is no Damon Harrison, but the Giants will have more money to spend on offense – where they really need help – if they only re-sign one of their free agent defensive linemen.
Depending on how they handle their defensive contracts, the Giants could be looking to free agency for a big-bodied receiver to help in the red zone, along with reinforcements at tackle, tight end and potentially at running back. Right guard John Jerry is a free agent as well.
Ultimately, don’t expect another $ 200 million shopping list from Reese, but he should be able to add a couple of veterans to build off their 2016 success.