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What the Jason Pierre-Paul trade means for the Giants’ immediate future

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The Giants 2018 cap savings after trading away defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is minimal, but will start to pay off in the long term

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought the New York Giants were done making all their moves before the draft, the 67-year-old general manager had another surprise of major proportions in store for the fan base which has suffered through playoff-less seasons in five of the last six years.

Gettleman and the Giants, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, are trading defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and their 2018 fourth-round pick to the Bucs in exchange for Tampa’s third and fourth picks (No. 69 and 108).

Let that sink in for a moment. The Giants, a team that rarely made any kind of blockbuster trade in recent years, has engineered its second blockbuster deal of the offseason, the first being the deal with the Rams to acquire linebacker Alec Ogletree.

While this trade didn’t bring in a veteran player, it did put the Giants in a position to have four picks in the top 100 selections in next month’s draft.

The 2018 Cap Savings

According to the NFLPA public cap report, as of March 22, 11 a.m. ET, the Giants had just $3,415,606 of cap space left, a total that is not believed to include the signing of defensive end Josh Mauro (who probably didn’t get a one-year minimum salary deal).

The removal of JPP’s contract gives the Giants just $2.5 million in savings, which is calculated by taking the $17.5 million he was due to count for against this year’s cap and subtracting the remaining $15 million in prorated signing bonus money from that total.

That $2.5 million savings is a lot better than the $5.25 million bath the Giants would have taken had they flat out cut JPP without designating him as a post-June 1 transaction.

Between the remaining prorated signing bonus money and the fact that JPP had $7.75 million in guaranteed money on his 2018 base salary due this year, it made no sense to drop that contract flat out.

The Future Savings

With JPP’s deal off the books, the Giants will recoup $15.5 million against their 2019 cap—more than enough space to accommodate at least one, if not both, of safety Landon Collins and receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

According to Over the Cap, the Giants are projected to have about $30 million in cap space in 2019, a number that is going to fluctuate between now and the start of the new league year.

Add in the JPP savings, and that total boosts up to around $40.5 million pending any further additions/subtractions.

With space available, the Giants could, if they choose to, allow Eli Manning to finish out his contract, which expires after the 2019 season. It also should allow for at least one of Collins or Beckham to be re-signed (Collins the likely option).

That, in turn, means that if the Giants have to use the franchise tag, they probably won’t be in a position to have to choose which of their two young stars they want to potentially expose to the open market.

What about the 2018 draft?

For all the talk about the Giants leaning toward a quarterback in this year’s draft, the trade of JPP now potentially puts North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb into play at No. 2 if the Giants stand pat at that draft spot, according to Schefter.

New defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s system, although a 3-4 in terms of the base, is multiple, meaning that the Giants won’t be lining up in a 3-4 on every down.

Chubb has been drawing high praise before the draft. Schefter noted that ESPN analysts Louis Riddick and Ryan Clark are both of the opinion that Chubb “is a better football player than last year’s No. 1 pick, Myles Garrett.”

With JPP gone, the Giants, who haven’t had a solid three-man rotation at defensive end since 2011, might find a potential trio of Olivier Vernon, Josh Mauro and Chubb to be too good to pass over come next month when they go on the clock.

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