Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Projected 53-man roster on opening night - ROUND 3

It's that time of the month again---projected 53-man roster time! Here were my first two attempts at doing this at the end of May, and the end of June:

Now here is my latest attempt at predicting the roster on opening night in Dallas on Sunday night, September 8th, 2013:

My only deviation this time from last is that I have Eric Herman making the team over Jim Cordle on the OL, and Shaun Rogers getting cut later on--if necessary--to make room for the return of Markus Kuhn from the PUP List after week 6 rather than Mike Patterson who sounds like he is tearing it up at training camp.


Here is the position-by-position breakdown:

Right now the Giants have 5 players on the PUP list. They are Henry Hynoski, Markus Kuhn, JPP, Terrell Thomas, & Chris Snee. My guess is that Snee and Thomas come off the PUP list at some point soon during camp, leaving Hynoski, JPP, and  Kuhn still on it come the start of the regular season.

Of course, the longer a player remains on the PUP list during training camp, the more likely he is to start the regular season there--assuming of course he is slated to be on the 53-man roster to start the regular season in September. The more that I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised to see T2 start the year on the PUP list now. Let's wait and see.

This is just my read of the situation, but in my humble opinion, the Giants do a great job of keeping injuries in-house. The noise we hear now about Hynoski being ready for Day 1 seems fishy to me. This is just a guess on my part, but I think they're going to be extra careful with him--as the Giants historically err on the side of caution when it comes to these kinds of injury situations. I think that they'll be careful with Kuhn, Hynoski, and especially their crown jewel: Mr. Pierre-Paul. I think by Game 7 that JPP and Hyno will be raring to go, with Kuhn being the only one of the three who seems to be struggling to come back that early (he tore his knee up--an AVL and MCL I think--on November 11th, 2012 in Cincinnati).

Just like the last time that I did this, I've got the Giants cutting the 3 players -- highlighted in orange above (Ramses Barden, Adrian Tracy, and Mike Patterson) -- once the 3 guys I've got projected to be on the PUP List at the start of the season mentioned below come off it, sometime between weeks 7 & 10.

I still think that a veteran 3rd RB will be added to the roster at the expense of 4th QB Curtis Painter, probably later on in camp when better veteran RBs will shake loose from teams. Da'Rel Scott is vulnerable in my opinion in this regard.

I'm going to try my hand at this again about 2 weeks from tonight in mid-August (August 15th), and then again approximately another 2 weeks after that in late-August (August 30th) for fun. I was only going to do it one more time at the end of August, but I figured that it'd be worth it to do it once more between now and then, hence my mid-August addition. It's all in fun anyway, so I figure "why not"? Besides, all my previous other shots at this were really almost meaningless.

My attempts at predicting this final 53-man roster in the middle and latter parts of August will have some meat behind them because we'll have heard rumors of who is playing well, and we'll know who isn't. We'll also be able to factor injuries into the situation as well, not to mention suspensions--of which the Giants are dealing with 2: one for S Will Hill, and the second for WR Brandon Collins. Hill has a solid chance to be on the team's 53-man roster after week 4, while Collins seems destined for the Practice Squad.

I think Hill will make the final 53-man roster, and be on the team again come week 5 after serving the his 4 game suspension. I think that the Giants will cut Tyler Sash in my scenario in order to keep exploring the options that Hill brings to the team in both the short-term as well as the long-term. It should be noted that players with less than 4 years worth of experience, like Tyler Sash, who are on the opening day 53-man roster of teams DON'T have guaranteed contracts for the year.

This means if he is cut after say week 4, that he'll only receive 4 weeks of his base salary pay--which in his case is $555,000, making each of his 17 weekly game checks worth approximately $32,647. Sash would only get 4 of these if he is cut after week 4 to make room for Will Hill. Shaun Rogers on the other hand would receive his entire base salary if he is released after week 1 after making the 53-man roster since he has over 4 years worth of experience.

This is why when roster moves are made in-season, that mostly younger players are involved, as Jason Fitzgerald from overthecap.com pointed out to me. On the flip side of the coin, Will Hill would only receive 13/17ths of his $480,000 base salary this year if he returns to the team after his 4-game suspension. Each check of his is supposed to be for approximately $28,235. If he misses 4 of them, then he'll only get $367,059 for the year, costing him about $112,941 in pay--a pretty costly thing to do for smoking weed to relive some stress.

However any of this turns out, it'll bear watching just to see how the finances & cap friendliness impact the Giants' decision making process. Keep in mind that decisions are often made for teams as the result of injuries that occur. It is for this reason that I wouldn't be surprised to see a rookie like CB Charles James or S Alonzo Tweedy make the team in place of Thomas and Hill to start the year if they show enough during camp, and if the door is open long enough for them to be able to walk through it before it closes.

In closing here is my prediction for the Practice Squad to start the year as well as the Practice Squad Eligibility rules:

P.S. Like i said before, I think Brandon Collins will be an ideal addition to the Practice Squad right after his suspension is over; Jake Muasau seems like a guy who is eminently cutable.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Here are the 2013 Cap numbers for all players currently on the Giants' 90-man roster.

Here is the list of the Top 51 cap numbers that actually count on the salary cap at the moment:

Source: 2013 Cap numbers for NY Giants - as per Jason Fitzgerald of overthecap.com

  • As can be seen, Victor Cruz's cap number is ranked 12th (it was ranked 11th before his new contract was agreed to).
  • First round pick Justin Pugh's cap number for 2013 ($1,517,436) ranks him 19th on the team.
    • Second round pick Johnathan Hankins ranks 28th on the team's top 51 list of cap numbers with a cap number of $732,852.
  • Steve Weatherford's contract would be a good one for the Giants to try and restructure if they need any extra room.
  • Weatherford currently ranks 13th cap-wise on the team; he has 4 years, including 2013, left on his deal, so a restructure wouldn't be such a bad idea.
  • The Giants could gain as much as an additional $738,750 in extra cap room if they and Weatherford came to an agreement to restructure his deal.
  • In exchange for as much $985,000 in upfront bonus money, the Giants would gain $738,750 more in cap room as indicated previously.
  • The trade-off would be that Weatherford's cap number would go up an extra $246,250 in each of the remaining 3 years of his deal after 2013 (his contract expires after the 2016 season).
  • It'll be interesting to see what happens.
  • The Giants' top 2 drafted players whose names appear in black bold & italicized letters in this section--Justin Pugh & Johnathan Hankins--count towards the salary cap while the Top 51 rule is in effect, up until September 5th.


Here are the players who don't currently count against the salary cap on account of the Top 51 Rule being in effect. Once it ceases though, some of these players (the ones who make the final 53-man roster) will count against the team's salary cap:

The only player on the list below whose 2013 cap number I'm not 100% sure about is Ryan D'Imperio. I believe I have his cap number right since to my knowledge he has only 1 year of accrued experience, but on the off chance I'm wrong I'll adjust this figure.

Click on the following link below by Jason Fitzgerald from overthecap.com to see the list of not only most of these players' 2013 cap numbers, but their overall contractual breakdowns as well:

  • Ryan Nassib's deal ranks him 59th on the club, but he will eventually count on the team's cap after September 5th, when the Top 51 rules ends and the team's final 53-man roster has been determined.
  • All 5 drafted players whose names appear in black bold & italicized letters in this section were drafted.
    • They are Damontre' Moore, Ryan Nassib, Cooper Taylor, Eric Herman & Michael Cox.
  • All the players whose names appear in light blue are undrafted rookie free agents (UDFAs); they are as follows:
    • TE, Chase Clement - ranked 73rd with a cap number of $405,833.
    • CB, Charles James - ranked in a 17-way tie for 74th-90th with a cap number of $405,000.
    • CB, Junior Mertile - ranked in a 17-way tie for 74th-90th with a cap number of $405,000.
    • LB, Etienne Sabino - ranked in a 17-way tie for 74th-90th with a cap number of $405,000.
    • S, Alonzo Tweedy - ranked in a 17-way tie for 74th-90th with a cap number of $405,000.
  • Keep in mind that if players get hurt that salary splits will factor into the equation.
  • Here is how the breakdown would occur:

The Giants will have a different cap number either tomorrow or Tuesday

The NFLPA doesn't automatically makes changes to reflect the accounting of the financial moves that have come about as the result of the Pugh signing, the Nassib signing, and the release of Kicker David Buehler & subsequent signing of Fullback Ryan D'Imperio, especially if they occur towards the end of the week (Thursday night). The changes should be reflected though on the NFLPA's Top 51 League Cap Report website either tomorrow, or on Tuesday, as indicated above.

At the moment, the Giants are officially $3,657,682 under the salary cap. As a result of the moves mentioned above, by either tomorrow or Tuesday--and pending any other moves between that time of course--the Giants should be $2,770,246 under the salary cap.

  • The Pugh signing resulted in a cap decrease of $961,436.
  • This was due to salary cap displacement between his 2013 cap number--which ranks 19th on the team--and that of the 51st ranked player on the Giants' top 51 list of cap numbers.
  • That player was Spencer Paysinger, whose salary was $556,000.
  • The difference between Pugh's 2013 cap number of $1,517,436 and Paysinger's 51st ranked cap number of $556,000 for 2013 is $961,436.

  • Nassib didn't factor into any of this because his 2013 cap number of $518,400 ranks 59th on the club, placing him outside out the team's Top 51 list of cap numbers for 2013.
  • This will change though once the Top 51 Rule ceases on September 5th, as Nassib is guaranteed a roster spot save for an act of God.

  • An extra $74,000 in cap space was created as the result of the release of Kicker David Buehler, and the subsequent signing of Fullback Ryan D'Imperio on Friday.
  • Buehler's 2013 cap number of $630,000 ranked him in a 3-way tie for the 31st highest cap number on the roster (tied with Curtis Painter & Trumaine McBride).
  • D'Imperio's cap number of $480,000 currently ranks him in an 8-way tie for 62nd on the team.
  • Since it ranks him outside of the team's Top 51 list of cap numbers for 2013, he doesn't count against the cap now.
  • The displacement of the 51st salary of $556,000 did though, resulting in a differential of $74,000 ($630,000 - $556,000 = $74,000).

  • When you subtract $961,436 from $3,657,682 you get a total of $2,696,246.
  • To this adjusted cap number of $2,696,246 you then add $74,000.
  • The result is the new adjusted cap number of $2,770,246.

As a result of these changes, the Giants should be $2,770,246 under the cap effective either tomorrow or Tuesday.

The Giants have reached an injury settlement with Cornerback Antonio Dennard, as per Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News

Cornerback Antonio Dennard was the 91st contract on the Giants' 90-man roster according to the NFLPA's Leaguewide Top 51 Cap Report (see link HERE). He was on the Reserve/Injured List, and had a salary of $405,000. He was waived on Thursday, May 16th along with TE Michael Palmer, who is now in camp with Seattle. 

Here is a link to an article by Dan Benton dating back to May 18th from sportsmedia101.com:
Michael Palmer & Antonio Dennard Clear Waivers; New York Giants Place Duo on Reserve/Injured List

Here is a tweet by Ralph Vacchiano about Dennard's injury settlement:

If I'm understanding this correctly, the start of the proration of Dennard's $405,000 salary (the absolute lowest in the NFL) dates back to the day that he was added to the roster, on January 15th of this year, & not the start of the 2013 league year on March 12th. The day of his release--May 16th--is when the proration ends. I'm more sure about the end date of the proration than I am about the start date though.

•Assuming I have the correct dates, then Dennard spent 121 days on the roster (the amount of days between January 15th and May 16th).
•I'm not sure though if the start date is March 12th--the start of the 2013 league year--or the day that Dennard was signed to the roster.
•That day happened to be January 15th (see HERE).

•If I did the math correctly (121 days out of 365), then the Giants the injury settlement is for $134,260.
•This amount would then count on the Giants' cap for 2013.
•Let me reiterate that I'm not sure if I understand this correctly, but right now this is my best guess; I'll check with a couple of people who would know better, and then correct myself later. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Justin Pugh's contractual breakdown:

•Pugh got a signing bonus of $4,449,744 when he signed on Thursday.
•His base salary for the 2013 through 2016 seasons totals $3,510,384.
•That's a total of $7,960,128 over 4 years, NOT including the non-guaranteed portion of his 2016 salary, which takes the form of a roster bonus.

•If Pugh is on the 53-man roster in 2016, on either the 2nd or 3rd day after rosters are set, then he receives his roster bonus of $385,770.
•If he gets his roster bonus for making the team in 2016, then the total of the contract rises to $8,345,898 for 4 years, which it should pending Pugh stinking up the joint or being injured.


I asked Jason Fitzgerald the following question on Twitter from my Giants Salary Cap twitter feed:

  • As can be seen above, the small roster bonus Pugh received in year 4 in 2016 is for $385,770.
  • His 2013 cap number---as stated here a million times before---is $1,517,436.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Giants released Kicker David Buehler and signed Fullback Ryan D'Imperio to the roster today

This means that the Kicking job belongs to Josh Brown, the other kicker on the roster. Buehler's $630,000 cap number happened to fit into the Giants' Top 51 cap numbers, ranking him in a tie for 31st-33rd on the team's cap list, so this move gives the Giants a little more cap room on account of the player who replaced him costing less.

Fullback Ryan D'Imperio has one accrued season's worth of NFL experience according to what I read from the following two articles:
If I am correct D'Imperio's experience, then he'll be on the books now as having a $480,000 salary and cap number. I am almost certain that he did not receive a bonus since he's likely just camp fodder, and his practice squad eligibility looks used up. His $480,000 cap number does not fall into the Giants' top 51 cap numbers. I'll wait for a confirmation later today or early next week on this, but I'm pretty sure that this is the correct number for D'Imperio.

According to my estimation, as a result of salary cap displacement, the Giants have gained another $74,000 in cap room as a result of this move. I got this figure by subtracting the resultant 51st ranked cap number in this instance of $556,000 (belonging to Spencer Paysinger) from Buehler's cap number of $630,000.

This additional $74,000 probably won't be reflected on the NFLPA's records and Top 51 League Cap Report website until Monday or Tuesday of next week since we're on the eve of the weekend (the same applies to the Pugh & Nassib contracts from yesterday). If something changes later today however, then I'll note it here of course.

Pending any other moves between today and early next week, I'd estimate the Giants to officially be $2,770,246 under the cap by Monday, July 29th or Tuesday, July 30th.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Did Pugh and Nassib win their contractual battles?

This is an interesting question. First let's start off with Pugh.

It will be interesting to see if Justin Pugh, the 19th overall pick, got a 4th guaranteed year. Picks 14 through 21 in the first round all got first guaranteed 4th years. I wonder if Pugh got the same, or if the Giants won out. My bet is on the Giants. As soon as details become available I'll post them. In the meanwhile, feel free to check out these two articles on the subject:

The issue with Ryan Nassib (the 110th overall pick in the draft), on the other had was salary splits. The 4th round of the draft is the round in which the battle ground for these salary splits took place. Interestingly, Nassib was the 5th to last player to sign his contract this year. the four players besides him who remained, and still remain unsigned are the 4 of the first 10 picks picked in the first round of this year's draft (click HERE to see who they are).

Nassib's agent probably argued hard to only have Nassib's salary split in case of injury for one year (2013 only), whereas the Giants argued for his salary to split for two years (2013 and 2014). My bet, once again, is on the Giants in this instance. Here's an excellent article on the subject from overthecap.com by Jason Fitzgerald from back in May detailing all the potential issues that have to do with the signing of draft picks from this past April's draft:
I hope to find out the answers to these questions sometime soon in the next couple of days. Until then, enjoy the beginning of training camp tomorrow.

Twas the night before training camp...

Twas the night before Training Camp, when all through
 the house / Not an unsigned contract was stirring...

You know the rest. Enough with the cuteness already.

Today we saw the signings of the Giants' only two remaining unsigned draft picks. After the completion of the Pugh and Nassib signings, the Giants have effectively done what they needed to do since the end of mini-camp in mid-June until the latter part of July salary cap-wise. They signed Cruz to an extension, and created $349,000 more in cap room in the process--something which will be significant going forward.

What's going to happen next is that the Giants' cap number will decrease from $3,657,682 to $2,696,246. The Pugh signing should result in a difference of $961,436 between these two cap numbers as a result of cap displacement between the Giants' 51st ranked cap number and Pugh's expected 2013 cap number of $1,517,436. This official change should be reflected in the NFLPA's Top 51 League Cap Report by either tomorrow or on Monday, July 29th, 2013 (cap changes are not processed during the weekend since the NFL Offices in NYC are closed).

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants restructure the contract of Steve Weatherford at some point during Training Camp as well. If they did that, they could create as much as an additional $738,750 in cap room (he has 4 years left on his deal, including this coming season). Add that amount to the expected amount of $2,696,246 and the new total would be $3,434,996. This hypothetically adjusted new figure would only be $222,686 less than the current figure of $3,657,682. This new figure would also leave the Giants with an approximate salary cap rollover of $1.4 million for 2014, if there aren't any hiccups during July and August.

Approximately $2 million will be subtracted from this figure once the Top 51 Rule ceases on September 5th and the final 53-man roster has been set. This will take into account the 52nd & 53rd men on the roster as well the 8 players on the Practice Squad. Additional dead money--besides that which already counts towards the cap--is also part of the equation, not to mention players on IR, as well as those who've received injury settlements. Besides these factors, who knows what injuries will occur during training camp that could also factor into these figures. All in all, the Giants did what they needed to do contractually during the dead period of July & August. Hopefully the players stay healthy. We can only wait and see.

Ryan Nassib signs too

Check out the story below from giants.com on both the Pugh and Nassib signings:
"Rookies Justin Pugh & Ryan Nassib sign" - by Michael Eisen Senior Writer/Editor | July 25, 2013

Nassib's signing was just reported by Ralph Vacchiano. Here are some tweets from him confirming Nassib's signing:

More reading: "The picks are in: Nassib finally signs, too" - BY RALPH VACCHIANO | JULY 25, 2013 6:35 PM

His cap number for 2013, according to Joel Corrry and Jason Fitzgerald should be $518,400. Check out the link below courtesy of overthecap.com from Jason Fitzgerald:
2013 NFL Draft Rookie Contract and Salary Cap Estimates

As I previously stated numerous times, Nassib won't count against the Giants' cap since he doesn't fit into the team's top 51 cap numbers. Once the Top 51 rule ceases on September 5th though, this will change since Nassib is a shoe-in to make the final 53-man roster, pending a freak injury or an act of God.This concludes the Giants' signing of their 2013 draft picks.

There are only 4 draft picks in the entire league at this time who remain unsigned. They are all 1st round picks chosen in the top 10 selections. They are as follows:

  • OT, Eric Fisher - 1st overall pick (Kansas City)
  • OG, Jonathan Cooper - 7th overall pick (Arizona)
  • CB, Dee Milliner - 9th overall pick (NY Jets)
  • OG, Chance Warmack - 10th overall pick (Tennessee)

Looks like Pugh has agreed to terms, and will sign very soon with Training Camp starting tomorrow

See the story here:
"Justin Pugh, New York Giants strike rookie contract" - by Marc Sessler Around the League Writer Published: July 25, 2013 at 12:41 p.m. Updated: July 25, 2013 at 01:07 p.m.

Here's the tweet from Ian Rapoport earlier today:

According to this tweet by Patricia Traina, Pugh might sign his contract tonight:

  • When this happens, the Giants' cap number--which is currently $3,657,682--will go down an estimated $961,436 as the result of the Pugh signing.
  • This would result in a newly adjusted and reduced cap number of $2,696,246.
  • His 2013 cap number, according to Joel Corry (from nationalfootballpost.com) & Jason Fitzgerald (from overthecap.com) is $1,517,436.
  • Here is a great link with the estimated cap numbers for all players drafted in the 2013 draft from overthecap.com by Jason Fitzgerald:
The Ryan Nassib issue should be concluded shortly as well. His issue is salary splits. The Giants are likely arguing for two seasons of salary splits (2013 and 2014), while Nassib's representation is arguing for only one (2013 only). As Patricia Traina has stated before, the Giants are not likely going to budge off of their stance. To be continued...

UPDATE (7:15 pm EST):
  • Here is a picture of Pugh signing his contract below courtesy of Pugh's twitter account:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Justin Pugh & Ryan Nassib are probably going to sign on the first day of training camp, as per Patricia Traina

The always informative and tapped in Patricia Traina of insidefootball.com has been on the money regarding the Giants this offseason (check out here website linked above). She was spot on about the new Cruz deal, when she suggested that it might actually lower the Giants' cap number in 2013--it did so by giving the Giants an additional $349,000 in cap room. If she says something contract related, I listen, and recommend that others do the same. I tweeted the following two days ago, & got this response Patricia:

This is something that Giants fans have wondered about in recent days. With training camp starting 5 days from today on July 26th, speculation had begun among some fans regarding when this would get done. I tweeted yesterday that 231 of 254 2013 draftees had signed contracts with their respective teams--that's approximately 91%. of the players selected almost 3 months ago in this year's draft. Two of the remaining 23 are Giants: Pugh and Nassib. This might frustrate Giants fans when factoring in the slotted nature of signing draft picks now (for the most part--offset language aside).

The issues with unsigned first round pick Justin Pugh (OT/OG out of Syracuse), & unsigned fourth rounder Ryan Nassib (QB also out of Syracuse) are as follows:

  • 4th year guaranteed money is the issue at hand for Justin Pugh (chosen 19th overall), which all of the picks who were chosen 14th through 21st received, as pointed out in this article by Mike Florio from PFT:
  • Jason Fitzgerald wrote a great article about this subject back on May 10th on his website, overthecap.com:
  • It looks like this is just the agent waiting to see if the Giant will blink, but as Patricia states in the tweet posted above, it doesn't look like the Giants will budge on either front (Pugh's or Nassib's).
  • Nassib's situation is simpler, with it being about salary splits.
  • Nassib, chosen 110th overall, is fighting for only one year of salary splits (2013 only), with the Giants fighting for two (2013 and 2014), as stated in Jason's superior article above.

Once Pugh signs his projected cap number will decrease the Giants' current cap number of $3,657,682 by $961,436, resulting in a new cap number of $2,696,246. Pugh's projected cap number for 2013 is going to be $1,517,436 while Nassib's is going to be $518,400. This is as per Jason Fitzgerald's pick-by-pick 2013 NFL Salary Cap estimates on overthecap.com, and Joel Corry. Here's what he tweeted me two days ago:

The Pugh cap number would be in the Giants' top 51 list of cap numbers. Salary displacement of the 51st cap number, belonging to Spencer Paysinger ($556,000), would take place. Paysinger would no longer count against the cap, but the difference between his cap number and Pugh's--listed above as being $961,436--would factor in. This is how the new cap number of $2,696,246 was determined (I subtracted $961,436 from the Giants' current team cap number of $3,657,682 listed above).

Nassib's cap number, on the other hand, will not factor into the Giants' cap until the top 51 rule ceases at midnight NY time on Thursday, September 5th. He's a shoe-in to make the team (pending a crazy injury or an act of God). This is why his contract won't count yet against the Giants' cap. Check out the remainder of the tweet above regarding this situation:

Nassib's value to this team FAR exceeds his salary though when you look at what he can provide this team with going forward besides just being an adequate backup to Eli in 2014 (he's not ready yet in 2013, which is why the Giants will carry 3 QBs this year, and then let David Carr walk, ceding the primary backup QB position to Nassib next year). He can function as trade bait in 3 years if Eli is still going strong, provided that he's shown enough to possibly be a starter in the league. Look at the Rob Johnson trade for reference in the late 90s with the Coughlin led Jags. Nassib can also function as insurance against Eli in case his salary demands get crazy (which they won't), and most importantly possibly be Eli's successor.

Of these 3 scenarios, the first one is what people and the Giants' management would like to see be the most prominent. that would mean Eli will still be going strong 3 years from now, and that Nassib has shown enough to warrant being traded elsewhere in exchange for a high pick--while not taking many if any snaps under Center as the Giants' starting QB. This is why the preseason will important to him. It will allow him to showcase his stuff, as many young backup QBs have done in the past on their way to being traded elsewhere. The odds of Eli going down for an extended period of time in the regular season increase as he gets older (he'll be 33 on January 3rd of 2014). It's nice to have a young gun in the bullpen in case things go sideways--even if the odds of them doing so are still relatively low when you consider how exceedingly durable Eli and his brother have been for the larger parts of their careers.

In summary, at this time next week, we should expect to see the Giants be $2,696,246 under the cap after Pugh and Nassib sign on the first day of training camp on July 26th---a difference of $961,436 from their current number of $3,657,682. After that, I wouldn't be surprised to see a small restructure take place with Steve Weatherford's contract that would give the Giants an additional $738,750 in cap space (raising his cap number by $246,250 though from 2014 to 2016), raising the total cap space number listed above back to what it is close to being now, but that's a topic for another post.

Potential salary cap ramifications regarding the Will Hill situation

I tweeted Joel Corry this morning asking him if a player's salary is guaranteed if he's on the 53-man roster on week 1 if he has less than 4 years of accrued experience? He said that it is not (see below):

Jason Fitzgerald further drove home the point about younger players--specifically those with less than 4 years of accrued experience--being used more frequently on rosters during times of roster upheaval on account of their decreased cap value:

The reason I asked this is because I'm trying to determine how the Giants' 2013 salary cap would be affected if Hill does in fact make the team. There are two scenarios: one in which Hill makes the team despite his 4-game suspension to start the year, and one in which he does not.

If Hill doesn't make the team...

then the answer is simple. They would be rid of his bonus free contract, in which his 2013 cap charge of $480,000 comes completely off the books, which in turn renders this post null and void. There would be no dead money on the books at all if they cut him, wiping Hill cleanly away cap-wise. Safeties Ryan Mundy and Cooper Taylor--the former being a veteran, an the latter being a rookie--help to make the Giants' decision easier with regard to letting go of Hill, if in fact that is what happens. I suspect that the Giants knew of this for a while, making the drafting of Taylor and the signing of Smith more logical.

  • The cap hit in 2013 for Mundy is $620,000--a difference of $140,00 on the negative cost side between Hill's $480,000 cap number.
  • The cap hit in 2013 for Cooper Taylor is $451,813--a difference of $28,187 on the positive savings side between Hill's $480,000 cap number.

If Hill does make the team...

then things become interesting. This is why I asked the question I did at the top of this post. A player who plays the same position as Hill with less than 4 years worth of accrued experience--like Tyler Sash for instance (who only has 2 years of accrued experience)--could take his spot on the roster, while Hill is serving his 4-game suspension to start the 2013 season. In that case, since players are paid over the course of 17 weeks in the NFL, only 4/17ths of Sash's base salary ($130,588) would count against the cap, while 13/17ths of Hill's base salary for 2013 ($367,059) would count against the cap, as per Jason Fitzgerald's tweet to me after I asked him yesterday:

Such a situation would cost the Giants approximately $37,317 in added cap room. this figure is obtained by subtracting Hill's salary and cap number for 2013 (that doesn't include any bonus money) of $480,000 from the sum of the figures in the previous paragraph about Hill's and Sash's adjusted base salaries totaling $497,647. The difference would be $17,647. I then added the bonus money, which becomes dead money from Sash for 2013, which is $19,670. (Another $19,670 is added on to the Giants' dead money in 2014 in this scenario). This gives me the total of $37,317 stated above.

Any way you slice it, if Hill makes the team, the player who'll take his roster spot on the opening day 53-man roster would have to have less than 4 years of accrued experience, in order to minimize cap costs. Credit goes to Patricia Traina of insidefootball.com and BBI poster fkap for informing me about this salary cap nuance about players with less than 4 years of accrued not having their contracts guaranteed for a full year even if they make an opening day roster (see this thread here for discussion on the matter: BBI thread - Will Hill Suspended 4 Games - jintz4life : 7/20/2013 2:05 pm).

This could open the door for players with less than 4 years of accrued experience to make the opening day roster, should Hill make the team. Players who fit into this category would also need to be able to play Special Teams, since that is what backup safeties like Will Hill have to do. Players who fit this description that are on the Giants' 90-man roster now include (3rd year S) Tyler Sash, (UDFA rookie LB) Etienne Sabino, (2nd year LB) Jake Muasau, (UDFA rookie S) Alonzo Tweedy, & (2nd year DB) Laron Scott.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. It wouldn't be shocking to see Hill just be cut outright if he doesn't come to camp and shine during July and August, as well as in preseason games. He should at least be able to prove himself valuable on STs, as he did last year. My hunch right now is that they keep him. 3 Giants' safeties are vulnerable next year: Rolle because if his exceedingly high cap number, Stevie Brown because he'll be an unrestricted free agent next year, and Ryan Mundy because he'll also be an unrestricted free agent next year. This is why the Giants need to inject some youth at the position.

Getting rid of Hill would go against the Giants' forward thinking philosophy. They drafted Taylor this year. He and Hill would help the Giants to get younger at the Safety position, while being inexpensive, AND cost controlled--not something to take lightly in today's salary cap dominated league. The Giants will need all the space they can get in the upcoming 2 or 3 years due to the impending second contracts for Hakeem Nicks and JPP having a more profound impact on the Giants' salary cap in future years--assuming of course that the Giants sign them. Just like the catchphrase of HBO's "The Wire", everything is connected. Stay tuned.

Vonta Leach info

Here are three links regarding veteran free agent fullback Vonta Leach, widely regarded as the best blocking fullback in football:

To me, it looks like the best bet for Leach is to go back to the Ravens who have a $2 million offer on the table for him, with an additional $1 million in potential incentives. We all know that in situations like this that pride plays a BIG role in what players decide to do. In the immortal words of Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, "That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride." (click on the link).

The Giants won't be bringing him on, and as Patricia Traina pointed out on a thread on BigBlueInteractive.com discussing Leach, the Giants won't waste unnecessary money on a position that is on the field less than half the time. The most they've spent on the position in recent years was $1.1 million on Madison Hedgecock. They're not going over that number for anyone, even if he's as good as Leach. It goes against their football business model---plain and simple. Pascoe should be able to fill the void left by Hynoski's injury while he recovers. 

Hopefuly Hynoski is healthier sooner, rather than later, making this discussion a moot point. This, however, is not a luxury that decision makers like GM Jerry Reese can afford. All possibilities have to be considered, & contingency plans have to be made for every possible scenario. It's chess, not checkers, as the saying goes. Besides, Leach's best bet at this point is to return to Baltimore since they have the best deal on the table for him. He knows their playbook as well, which is significant. He can play well this year, after beating out the rookie that the Ravens drafted in the 4th round out of Harvard (Kyle "Juice" Juszczyk) to play fullback and H-Back--which he should be able to do since he's the best blocking FB in the game, and go back on the free agent market next March instead of in the late summer, like this year when teams had shot their wad.

Check out these links to this podcast by Greg Cosell reviewing the 2013 NFC East draft class

Here's a direct link to the podcast itself first:

Here is a link to the article:

Greg Cosell is one of my favorites along with Jason Fitzgerald and Joel Corry. Cosell is an intellectual voice in an ocean of hype. Do yourself a favor and give this podcast a listen, even if it's in a piecemeal fashion (a little over 20 minutes a day for 3 days) if you don't have a lot of time on your hands. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Giants Cap update

  • As of today, the Giants are officially $3,657,682 under the salary cap, ranking them 26th in the league in overall cap space.

  • This information is as per the NFLPA link: Top 51 League Cap Report
  • Only six teams have less cap space than the Giants now: the Bears, Texans, Chiefs, Chargers, Rams, & Redskins.
  • This figure will change next week when unsigned draft picks Justin Pugh & Ryan Nassib are expected to sign, decreasing by about a million bucks. I'll post more details about that tomorrow.
  • Good night everyone.

Will Hill suspended for the first 4 games of 2013 due to substance abuse

Last year Hill was suspended for using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs). I just asked Jason Fitzgerald from overthecap.com how this would potentially impact the Giants' 2013 cap. Here's what he said on twitter:

Hill's salary and cap number for 2013 is $480,000 with no dead money. Here it is below:

Hill makes $480,000 this year (his cap number salary). He earns approximately $28,235 per week (this number multiplied by 17 weeks, which includes the bye week results in $480,000). The Giants would recoup approximately $112,941 in cap space as a result of this suspension if Hill makes the team in 2013.

Another player's salary though will count against the cap for the full season if he has more than 4 years worth of accrued experience, and is on the 53-man roster in place of Hill on opening day, costing the Giants some more money against the cap as a result of Hill's suspension.

I should note that if a player is on the opening day roster, then his salary is guaranteed for salary cap purposes for the season. This is the reason why when teams want to sign a veteran at the end of the preseason, they sometimes wait until after week 1 of the regular season has concluded to sign that given player. This is because that player's contract is not guaranteed for the year after the first week of the regular season, and he only counts against the salary cap on a week-by-week basis, instead of for the entirety of the season, even if he is cut or winds up on IR  at some point later on that season. I wonder if the Giants will go with only 52 players for week 1 for this reason if Hill makes the team?

Here are two links to articles on the Hill suspension:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A little speculation: Brad Smith--potential late August cut--a fit for the Giants?

Remember when the Giants picked up Chad Morton in 2005? I could see the same thing happening this year if such a player is available. The guy I have me eyes on for the Giants in that regard is Brad Smith of the Bills.

I would absolutely LOVE him on the Giants. He's smart; he's versatile and can play 3 positions on your team while only occupying 1 spot on your roster: 3rd QB, 5th/6th WR, and Kickoff/Punt Returner. He's excellent covering kicks on Specials as well. If he gets axed by the Bills during finals cuts on August 31st, then I'd jump at the chance to sign him as a free agent.

Bills' owner Ralph Wilson is notoriously cheap. If they cut Smith at the end of the preseason, it wouldn't be because they need the cap room. They're currently $18,665,064 under the cap now (the fifth highest number in the league). Such a move would net them an added $2,750,000 in cap space, in addition to what they already have, with only $500,000 in dead money counting on their salary cap this year, and another $500,000 counting next year. He's also got the 7th highest cap number on the Bills at $3,750,000. To add a little perspective to that 2013 cap number, it is only $5,000 less than that of Hakeem Nicks. Here is Smith's contractual breakdown from overthecap.com:


Ourlads.com has Brad Smith ranked as the 5th/6th WR on the Bills' depth chart at this moment in time.
It doesn't make much business sense to keep him from the cap standpoints mentioned above, but most importantly, Ralph Wilson would stand to avoid having to pay Smith $6,750,000 over the remaining two years left on his contract if they cut him this year in camp. Smith will turn 30 on December 12th, an age which is traditionally a marker for decreased production, and increased age & chances for injuries.

He'd be a free agent if released at the end of August, thereby avoiding waivers. As a result of this, he'd be free to sign with the team of his choice as a free agent due to his 7 accrued years of service (he's been in the league since 2006). He'd be an ideal candidate to be on the Giants due to his intelligence, excellent character and leadership skills, and roster versatility--something which Ramses Barden does not offer, which Coach Coughlin loves. Coughlin could use the added roster versatility that Smith beings to the table on the team this year since they'll most likely be keeping 3 QBs on the 53-man roster for the first time since 2007.

P.S. Notice I didn't mentioned anything about Smith's ability to play in the wildcat because we all know that that's very unlikely to be incorporated here with the Giants under TC with Eli under Center at QB.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How much more money is Victor Cruz going to make in 2013 now?

Here's the answer to that question:
  • Taking into account immediate signing bonus money and his base salary for 2013, Cruz got a $7,251,000 raise: 
    • (I) his $9.5 million signing bonus for 2013 & 
    • (II) a base salary of $630,000

In summary, Cruz is set to make $10,130,000 in actual dollars in 2013 (with $9.5 million upfront) vs. the $2,879,000 that he was set to make before this deal (with none of it up front), so he wins from an immediate standpoint. This explanation of the situation is according to this breakdown of Cruz's new contract by Jason Fitzgerald yesterday from overthecap.com:

That $7,251,000 raise is quite a haul over what Cruz was set to earn this year had he not signed this contract. By agreeing to this contract, as Jason points out in the outstanding article above, "...Cruz benefits from the money now rather than later." Jason also states the following:

The Giants, on the other hand, benefit from the ability to begin prorating a signing bonus immediately, thus limiting their dead money hits on the contract since the CBA only allows proration for a 5-year maximum period.

This is significant to note because  of the fact that there isn't any dead money in the last year of his deal in 2018. This is due to the proration limitation of 5 years under the new CBA that was agreed upon two years ago between the players and the owners. At that point, with a year left on his deal, the Giants could simply release Cruz after the 2017 season, without any dead money whatsoever counting against the cap and clearing up $8.5 million in cap space in the process.