- Antrel Rolle (2 years left on his deal; 2013 & 2014 cap numbers of $9.25 M)
- Chris Snee (2 years left on his deal; 2013 cap # of $11 M & 2014 cap # of 9 M)
- Steve Weatherford (4 years left on his deal; 2013 cap # of $2.5 M & 2014 cap # of 2.7 M)
- Eli Manning (3 years left on his deal; 2013 cap # of $20.85 M & 2014 cap # of 20.4 M)
- Justin Tuck (1 year left on his deal; 2013 cap # of $6.15 M)
Contractual figures courtesy of 2013 Giants salary cap figures from overthecap.com
I'm trying to touch base with Jason Fitzgerald, one of my senseis, from overthecap.com regarding what would be best for each. So far, he says he wouldn't extend Rolle, which makes sense considering his age (he'll turn 31 on December 16th, in what will be his 9th year in the NFL).
I'd aim to restructure Rolle, Snee, & Weatherford; try for an extension for Eli (even though this is more likely to happen next year); and go the voidable year route for Tuck, who is in the final year of his deal, a la Osi last year, and Webster this year. Depending on what Cruz's new cap number is going to be for 2013--assuming he and the Giants come to terms on a new contract for him by the end of July/beginning of August--I'm guesstimating that the Giants are going to have to make somewhere between $2 million to $4 million dollars in cap room.
I'll have a better estimate after next weekend, after I put together my second projected possible 53-man roster for the 2013 Giants, based on who's on the roster at the moment. I'd estimate that that figure will be closer to the smaller estimate, for what it's worth. I'd assume that Cruz's cap number would be smaller in the first year of his new deal (2013), if it were agreed upon, before escalating in subsequent years. Fortunately, the Giants don't have too much committed to salary in 2014 yet. The figure that is listed by Jason Fitzgerald over at overthecap.com for the Giants with regard to 2014 is $104,100,847. Of course, that figure will shrink once the contracts of star WR Hakeem Nicks is up.
Hopefully, by 2014 the Giants will have worked out an extension for Eli Manning, thereby creating even more space under the cap--which the Giants will require to get their affairs in order (It helps a great deal of course that Tom Condon is not only Eli's agent, but Tom Coughlin's and Victor Cruz's agent as well). The 5 players mentioned above will be pivotal figures going forward with respect to the overall structure of the Giants' team salary cap. They're ranked as follows in 2013, with respect to their cap numbers:
- Eli - ranked #1 on the team (cap number of $20,850,000)
- Snee - ranked #2 on the team (cap number of $11,000,000)
- Rolle - ranked #3 on the team (cap number of $9,250,000)
- Tuck - ranked #4 on the team (cap number of $6,150,000)
- Weatherford - ranked #13 on the team (cap number of $2,500,000)
Tuck's figure can go bye-bye all together since he's only got one year left on his deal. If he is left to just finish out his contract as is, then there will be no leftover dead money, which is always something that team's relish when it comes to salary cap space after one of their bigger expiring contracts is finally off the books. As it stands now, the Giants have very little dead money on their cap for next season, if any at all--something which they'd like to maintain, if they can.
While Eli's and Tuck's contracts look pretty cut and dried, those of Snee, Rolle, and Weatherford will require more finesse to deal with since they're much more likely to be restructures. I have a hunch too, that one of either Snee or Rolle--whoever they don't deal with this year--will be released next year, a la Boley, Canty, and Bradshaw about 4 and a half months ago.
The best thing going for Weatherford is this: he's a punter. As such, his longevity will help him and the Giants, should they agree to an extension at some point in the future right before his contract ends (which is 2016 at this point). He'll turn 31 on December 17th, and is entering his 8th NFL season. He keeps himself in magnificent shape, and should be able to kick well into his 30s. Look at the lackluster shape that Jeff Feagles kept himself in; he kicked 22 seasons in the NFL until the year 2009, when he he was 43.
A guy like Weatherford is a prime candidate for an extension 2 to 3 seasons from now, near the end of his current contract. If the Giants restructured him now, they could gain as much as $738,750 in cap room for 2013, but the real money is tied into the Rolle and Snee, not him. I'm fascinated by what will happen to the Giants' cap situation in 2013 and 2014 for a couple of reasons:
- They've got the contracts of Cruz and Nicks getting ready to potentially expire, to go along with that of JPP. These 3 players, along with Eli Manning, are the Giants' "core players."
- The Giants' Minimum Salary Benefit contracts are also the most numerous on one team in the entire league (the Giants have 11 MSB contracts at this time). They're probably going to have to adjust the team's overall makeup in 2014 because of these situations
As the offseason moves along, and we near the date on which the Top 51 rule will cease, I'll provide updates and possible scenarios and opinions on how the Giants can lighten their salary cap burden, before it becomes too much to bare.