When Justin Tuck accepted a two-year, $11 million contract with the Oakland Raiders just days ago, it signaled the need for hybrid DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka to step up to fill the void.
But Kiwanuka isn't just looking to help New York on the field, but in its cap situation as well.
According to the NFL Players' Association's website, Kiwanuka has taken a pay cut, reducing his salary from $4.375 million, to $1.5 million. According to New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano, the move clears more than $2 million in cap space.
The Giants have restructured a contract to make this happen, according to the NFLPA website: DE Mathias Kiwanuka's deal changed.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) March 17, 2014
Taking into consideration the Kiwanuka pay cut, New York sat roughly $6.7 million under the cap prior to the signings of Demps, Thurmond and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. New York will have an additional $5 million added on June 2, via the cut of David Baas.
Kiwanuka was originally a first-round draft pick for the New York Giants back in 2006 out of Boston College. The 31-year-old started his career as defensive end, transitioned to linebacker, then back to defensive end last year. In 2013, Kiwanuka finished with 41 tackles, six sacks and three passes defensed. He is expected to compete with Damontre Moore for the starting defensive end spot opposite Jason Pierre-Paul in training camp.
In other news, former Cowboys DE/LB Anthony Spencer left New York following his visit without a contract, according to Ralph Vacchiano. In 2012, the 30-year-old Spencer recorded 11 sacks in 14 games, but missed all but three games last year after landing on the IR in week four with a knee injury. It is unknown if New York offered Spencer a contract, but if signed, Spencer could provide solid defensive line depth at both the DE and DT positions.
Mario Manningham is flying into New York Monday night to meet with the Giants, both sides are interested in a reunion. With James Jones signing a contract with Oakland earlier today, New York's interest in Manningham could be increased as the team is desperate for depth at the position behind Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan.