Friday, January 10, 2014

Cap notes about the Giants' 2014 schedule & their picks in the 2014 NFL Draft

At around 8 pm EST on the evening of December 29th, 2013, the Giants found out who their final opponent would be for the 2014 season, and what pick they would be getting in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Their opponents in 2014 (other than the usual & obvious 6 games against their divisional opponents in the NFC East) will be the teams in the AFC South, NFC West, and the 3rd place teams in the NFC South (the Giants will be hosting that team), and the 3rd place finisher in the NFC North (the Giants will be playing them on the road). The games are outlined on many sites; this one---FBSCHEDULES.COM---is my particular favorite. Their opponents are as follows:


  • *Philadelphia
  • *Dallas
  • *Washington
  • Arizona
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Atlanta


  • *Philadelphia
  • *Dallas
  • *Washington
  • St. Louis
  • Seattle
  • Jacksonville
  • Tennessee
  • Detroit

What are the cap situations of these 13 opponents going into the off-season (Futures signings estimates are factored in)? How much anticipated cap room will they have (restructures, extensions, cuts, RFA tenders)?

I'm going to refer to Jason Fitzgerald for help on this. This article from projects these bare bones figures for these teams:

Here is how these 13 opponents in 2014--plus the Giants--rank with respect to the estimated available cap space figures in the link above:

  1. Jacksonville - $55,858,851
  2. Indianapolis - $35,132,360
  3. Washington - $29,098,022
  4. Philadelphia - $18,842,508
  5. NY Giants - $10,341,796
  6. San Francisco - $6,209,764
  7. Atlanta - $5,965,236
  8. Houston - $4,610,940
  9. Tennessee - $4,469,952
  10. Arizona - $2,182,254
  11. St. Louis - $1,151,714
  12. Seattle - ($415,393)
  13. Detroit - ($4,374,676)
  14. Dallas - ($21,634,160)

I've noted on Twitter, and elsewhere, that the Giants will have about $25 to $30 million to spend come the start of free agency (probably closer to the lower figure) after factoring in variables like:

  • player extensions/contract restructures - Eli & Rolle are extension candidates
  • contracts w/voidable years voiding - Myers & Webster
  • players being cut - Snee; Rolle is an outside possibility as well
  • RFA tender candidates - Jernigan, Brewer, Williams, Paysinger, Hynoski, Herzlich, & Cordle
The same factors for the Giants' 13 opponents will likewise factor in to the adjustment of how much cap money they'll have to spend at the start of free agency on March 11th, about two months from now. Of those 13 clubs, the ones with the best cap situations heading into Free Agency are Jacksonville, Indianapolis, the Redskins (their Cap Penalties are done with), & the Eagles. Jacksonville obviously has a lot of work to do, but Indianapolis is already a strong team, and the Eagles won the NFC East in 2013. The Redskins will probably look to get back to their free-spending ways now that they are out of cap jail, if their previous behavior under Daniel Snyder is any indicator.

The clubs who are going to have a more difficult time managing their cap situation heading into Free Agency are the teams at the bottom of the list above. The ones that stand out are: Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle Detroit, & Dallas. Those five clubs in particular will have some major reshuffling of the deck to do with respect to managing the contracts on their respective rosters before Free Agency & the new league year begin on March 11th. The top 51 accounting rules go into effect that day as well, so that will factor into the equation as well.

Out of these five clubs, Seattle, Detroit, & Dallas stand out the most, since they are in the red--- hence the red text---with respect to their cap situations (they need to cut/extend/restructure players in order to be under the cap at the start of Free Agency and the new league year). These 3 clubs are projected to be over the cap when Free Agency begins on March 11th, without factoring in the other variables that I mentioned above that teams will inevitably deal with. While these are just estimates that aren't even necessarily ball park figures like the $25 to $30 million dollar cap availability estimate that I gave for the Giants above (which I'll flesh out in an upcoming post pretty soon), these figures at least function to help give you an idea of where teams are right now in the process of managing their cap situations in the next two months.

To wrap up, fans will probably want to note that In 2015, the Giants will play the teams in the AFC East, NFC South, host the team from the NFC West that finishes in the same place as they do in 2014, and play at the team from the NFC North that finishes in the same place as they do in 2014 (as in the case of this upcoming 2014 season). Click HERE to see their schedules from 2008 to 2013, and their list of opponents in 2014 & 14 of their 16 predetermined opponents in 2015. Fans might want to keep track of how those teams are doing with their cap situations as well. As always, provides the best rough estimates of any other site out there. Click below to see:


As far as the 2014 NFL Draft is concerned, we know that the Giants will be picking 12th in the first round pending any trades on Day 1 of the Draft on the night of May 8th in New York City. They have 6 picks as of now (Jerry Reese traded their 7th rounder to Carolina in the Jon Beason deal). The draft order for picks 1-24 has been determined, as indicated in this link from 2014 NFL Draft Tracker

Here are the estimated cap values for the Giants' 6 picks, with their picks for their choices in the the first three rounds being the most accurate of the bunch based off of Jason Fitzgerald's figures from last year from, which I'll provide a link to below. Without further ado, here are the estimates:

These estimates are based on the following pick-by-pick estimates from from last year's draft. Click HERE to see them. The order of the Giants' picks in each round in this year's draft, as well overall pick for each draft slot, came form THIS LINK to Matt Miller's 7-Round Mock Draft article from December 30th.

Here are 2 other links that are interesting to take note of form regarding last year's draft pick cap number estimates for each team:

Jason said on one of his more recent podcasts that he has the pick-by-pick estimates for this year's draft. As soon as he has them, I'll link them here, nut for now, these will be close enough to get a rough idea of what they'll be dealing with cap-wise. Since the Top 51 rule will be in effect when the draft picks are signed, the odds are that the only picks that will count against the Giants' cap will be the players selected in rounds 1 and 2, with a slight possibility for round 3. another factor to take into consideration will be salary displacement.

It should be noted that draft picks count towards the 90-man roster limit that is in effect during the off-season, even if they are not signed. It works like this: once a player is drafted, his cap number hits the books at the absolute 2014 league minimum of $420 K, as can be seen below along with other minimum rates for players corresponding to the amount of accrued years they have credited towards free agency. Once a player signs a drafted rookie signs his contract, his cap number is adjusted upwards; however, until then it stays on the cap books at the figures of $420,000 mentioned above.

When a player signs, his place in the Top 51 list of cap numbers on the team (assuming he ranks high enough form a cap standpoint) displaces a player already on the list, thereby pushing that player with the 51st ranked cap number off of the accounting books---at least until the top 51 rule is no longer in effect a few days before the season opener in September. The difference between that cap number and the salary that he displaces is what counts.

As a result, as things stand now, the giants will probably not have to spend more than $2,000,000 in cap room on signing their Top 51 eligible draft picks. The rest who don't fit into the Top 51 can sign right away, and not count towards the cap, at least until when the Top 51 rule ceases---assuming they make the team of course, which almost all 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounders should, unless they completely bomb in training cap and during the preseason.