New York Giants headed toward a salary cap crunch

Markus Golden, New York Giants. Sam Darnold, New York Jets. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Markus Golden, New York Giants. Sam Darnold, New York Jets. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

All last season and into the spring, New York Giants fans heard about all the money they had available to sign players. At this moment the opposite is true, Big Blue has very little money to spend.

The New York Giants are at a full offseason roster of 90 players. Along with dead cap space, those 90 men account for about $181M of the $198M cap set for the 2020 season. A rational person would assume the G-men have about $17M left. In the words of ESPN’s Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friends.”

Yes, the G-Men started the offseason with lots of money, but they spent a good deal of it on much-needed upgrades. They brought in cornerback James Bradberry for three-years, $43.5M to shore up a young secondary. Sure tackling Blake Martinez takes over for the semi-effective Alec Ogletree calling the defensive signals at middle linebacker. He signed for $30.75M over three-years. Finally, Dave Gettleman’s man-crush on defensive end Leonard Williams cost the team $16.13M when the latter was slapped with a Franchise Tag. There were other smaller signings, but the point is that the money was gone quickly.

Getting back to the present day. After signing Mr. Irrelevent (the final pick in the draft), seventh-round selection Tae Crowder to a four-year, $3.4M contract, the New York Giants still need almost $11.5M (slotted salaries by draft position) to sign their other nine draft picks. Then there is Markus Golden. Before going there, it’s important to note the “Rule of 51.”

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The short version is during the off-season, a team’s top 51 salaries will count toward the cap. In that regard, the G-Men only have about $4M, according to John Fennelly of Giants Wire. Golden will earn a minimum of $4.12M in 2020 if he resigns with Big Blue. His guarantee is a result of Big Blue offering him a free agent tender, which is 110% of his 2019 salary, if he doesn’t sign elsewhere by July 22nd.

The biggest thing keeping the Giants below the max is once these new contracts get done, for every player who signs, someone else with a contract gets cut, and that money goes back into the pool. It also means that should a good player from another team become a cap casualty; New York won’t be in a position to make an offer.

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