I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants give a call to the agent of Jake Ballard. Paul Dottino basically confirmed this yesterday, when he expressed this notion. The Pats have released him today, and he is a Coughlin favorite. If they sign him, then I think Donnell is a goner, but I'm only going to use the players that are on the roster now for this projection (I have a funny feeling that Ballard is going to be a Giant, either in week 1 or in week 2 though). While I think Patterson and Trattou looked like money last night, I don't know if that will allow the Giants to put them on the 53-man roster by tomorrow afternoon's deadline.
Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if one or both were dealt just so that the Giants don't get burned for seeing them come back to haunt them in the regular season. Patterson looks better than Austin, but Austin has his draft status, youth, and 2 more years of being under contract to the team in his favor over Austin. It's a really slippery slope to climb because on the field, Patterson just looks like the better player---plus he got more snaps last night than Austin did. We'll see what happens. Good players will have to be cut unfortunately, but this is life in the NFL.
I would be remiss to not mention the Andre Brown situation. I think the Giants use the temporary/partial Injure Reserve designation for him. This means that the Giants would be able to add him back onto the roster after 8 weeks. He wouldn't be able to practice for the first 6 weeks, and then wouldn't be able to play for another 2 weeks, making him eligible to return in week 9. The Giants happen to have a bye that week, with their next game being the following week (week #10) at home against the visiting Raiders. Brown's injury is supposedly of the 4 to 6 week variety, as per SNY Giants. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio also reported the same.
If this scenario unfolds, it means that Andre Brown would have to be on the Giants' 53-man roster tomorrow before actually being designated as the Giants' lone temporary IR player (teams can only do this with one player a year; they did it with Brown near the end of last year too incidentally). Brown can't be placed on this list until Tuesday, September 3rd next week. On that day at 4 pm New York time, teams are permitted to place a player on Reserve/Injured as "Designated for Return."
They'll have to release someone from the roster to make this move (perhaps other RBs like Da'Rel Scott or Ryan Torian?), but the Giants will have options out there in case they can' re-sign them shortly thereafter. Two guys who know the Giants' playbook and who are also solid in pass protection are still out there. I'm talking about street free agents Brandon Jacobs and Kregg Lumpkin (who spent time with the team at the end of last year). If the Giants can't reclaim Scott or Torain, then those two are very solid fall back emergency options.
To basically tie this all up, the Giants' 53-man roster that we will see tomorrow at 6 pm is probably not going to be the one we see later in the week, or the one we Dallas in all likelihood, or the one we see in week #2. Things are always fluid in the NFL. That, simply put, is the nature of the best, with the salary cap dangling over every team exec's head like the sword of Damocles. Without further ado, here's my projection for the 53-man roster TOMORROW (not at any other point, as I'm pretty sure it will change again):
First, is my breakdown of the roster by position:
Here is my breakdown of the players:
Listed in the table below are the 22 roster moves that I have projected to be made (including 19 cuts: 5 players released & 14 players waived). I've got Markus Kuhn going on the Reserve PUP List for the regular season, along with Will Hill being suspended, & Adrien Robinson going on IR (probably wishful thinking on my part I admit). Here are the rest of the cuts:
NOTE - I'm not including the move to Temporary IR for Andre Brown since that won't be necessary until Tuesday, September 3rd. This is just for tomorrow's 6 pm ET deadline.
These 8 would be the guys I project to the Practice Squad; however, I think at least 1 or 2 outside players will make the final cut. Since I have no idea of knowing who they are, I'm just going to list 8 guys who are PS eligible on the team who are strong candidates to make it onto this 8 man list:
Guys like CB Junior Mertile, LB Jake Muasau, and especially CB Charles James (who I have projected to the team) are strong candidates to make it onto this list as well. Click HERE for a list of 20 Practice Squad eligible players on the 75-man roster at the time of this posting:
Finally, here is my cap breakdown of the aftermath of this predicted mess of a 53-man roster projection:
As can be seen above, in this scenario the Giants will need to create more room under the cap to make up for the cap space number of -$1,592,750 listed above. This doesn't include the 6 players who are going to receive Injury Settlements on the Giants too, hence the question mark. Those 6 are as follows:
- CB, Antonio Dennard
- WR, Jeremy Horne
- WR, Kris Adams
- OT, Chris DeGeare
- WR, Keith Carlos
- CB, Laron Scott
To read an excellent article on Injury Settlements by Jason Fitzgerald from overthecap.com, click below:
The players who are going to receive Injury Settlements might also go the grievance route, if their agents feel something shady occurred, but the Giants don't seem to be in that boat for any of those guys. My guess of the total mount Injury Settlement amount for these 6 players is somewhere between $500,000 and about $1,000,000. If you add that to the negative overall number of $1,592,750 listed above then that means the Giants will need to clear roughly 2 to 2.5 million dollars in cap space just to be even with the cap. They'll also need room for emergency expenses too, so you can add another 1 to 2 million bucks to that amount as well. This would bring this hypothetical cap space total that the Giants would need to clear to be 3-3.5 million dollars at minimum.
This total can be made up though through restructuring the contract of guys like Chris Snee or Antrel Rolle. Check out this article written on the subject of clubs that will need to clear more cap space in the coming week when the Top 51 Rule will cease at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, September 4th. It's also by Jason Fitzgerald from overthecap.com and was written yesterday:
Check out the contracts of Rolle and Snee below, along with the cap room for teams around the league as well as the contractual details of all players on the Giants below:
- NFL Estimated Salary Cap room - overthecap.com
- Contractual details for players on the Giants - overthecap.com
- Antrel Rolle - contractual breakdown and details
- Chris Snee - contractual breakdown and details
Rolle & Snee both have high base salaries that can be be restructured to give the Giants the added necessary cap room that they will be needing in about 5 days. I would include Steve Weatherford in this list, but the most that he can save this team in cap space is $738,750. They're going to need roughly 4 to 5 times that amount. Snee and Rolle can provide it. Eli's extension will be left on the table until next year in all likelihood, so whatever cap moves are made in the next week will very likely come from these two players.
It should be noted that Snee agreed to a restructure last year on September 8th. In some corner, it is thought that players have to wait a year to get restructured again, but that is not the case. I asked one of the best people out there that knows about this stuff: former agent and National Football Post writer Joel Corry. He told me that the one-year rule applies to salary increases. Snee's restructure didn't qualify as such. Joel mentioned to me that a player can restructure his contract several times in a season. He then mentioned the case of Matt Flynn. Joel said that Matt Flynn has restructured his contract twice since his trade to Oakland. For those that don't know, Flynn was traded to the Raiders from Seattle about 5 months ago near the start of April. Keeping this knowledge in mind, the Giants should have no issues to go back to Snee and Rolle multiple times during the season if they need to make added room under the cap.