The New York Giants will reportedly pay running back Shane Vereen the $500,000 roster bonus he was due to receive today, keeping the veteran running back rather than sending him into the free-agent market. Kim Jones of NFL Network had the news first.
Vereen carries a $4.916 million cap hit for the 2017 season, the final year of the three-year, $12.35 million deal he signed with the Giants. There had been lots of speculation about the possibility that the Giants could consider cutting Vereen, a move that would save them $3.75 million against the salary cap.
The Giants, with the least amount of available cap space in the league ($6.875 million) per the NFLPA public salary cap report, could have cut Vereen and tried to bring him back on a cheaper deal. They didn’t, however, possibly not wanting to risk losing Vereen to another team looking for a pass-catching running back.
Paying the 28-year-old Vereen the bonus does not, of course, guarantee that he will be on the 53-man roster this fall. Jones said “he is part of their 2017 plans,” but plans can change. The Giants could still realize that cap savings if they part with Vereen at a later date.
Vereen caught a career-high 59 passes for the Giants in 2015, his first year in New York after four seasons with the New England Patriots. He also ran 61 times for 260 yards, 4.3 yards per carry.
In 2015, he tore a triceps muscle twice and suffered a concussion. He played in only five games.