So, now that Odell Beckham Jr. has his record-setting mega-contract the question many have is how that deal affects the salary cap for the New York Giants both now and into the future.
Yours truly is not a salary cap expert. I’m learning, but I don’t know all the ins and outs and the various permutations of the cap. Big Blue View contributor and ‘Locked on Giants’ podcast co-host Patricia Traina is the one around here who really knows the cap. Unfortunately for those of you who don’t subscribe — and for BBV in general — her astute breakdown of the contract’s ramifications for the Giants was published behind the paywall of The Athletic.
I can, however, read and understand where the contract will help the Giants and where it will force them to make decisions.
There is $41 million that was fully guaranteed at signing, including a $20 million signing bonus, and a total of $65 million guaranteed over the life of the deal. The remaining $21 of the fully guaranteed money will be paid by 2020. Per Over The Cap, here are the annual base salaries in the deal over the next three seasons.
- 2018 — $1.459 mllion
- 2019 — $17 million
- 2020 — $2.541 million
Including his pro-rated signing bonus, Beckham’s cap hit jumps from $5.459 million in 2018 to a whopping $21 million in 2019. That’s 11.1 percent of a projected $190 million cap, behind only the $23.2 million cap number carried by Eli Manning.
Next season is what we have to talk about. Because the Giants, with only a projected $12.449 million under that anticipated $190 million cap number and needing to sign Landon Collins long-term, are going to have some gut-wrenching cap decisions to make. That means some high-priced, big-name veteran players could be shown the door.
Let’s go through some of the possibilities, using the numbers from Over The Cap.
Manning — Yes, we have to start here. He will be 38 next season, and the Giants could save $17 million of that $23.2 million cap hit by cutting him. I have always believed in Manning, always thought many have never appreciated what the Giants have had with him at the helm. Whatever. I also believe this — no matter how well Manning plays this season if the Giants do not make the playoffs it makes no sense whatsoever for the franchise to continue with him as the quarterback. That would make six of seven seasons of missed playoffs, and zero playoff wins.
There are two young and talented quarterbacks — Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta — waiting for an opportunity to prove they can be NFL starters. If the Giants don’t make the playoffs it will be time to give them that chance.
Olivier Vernon — The defensive end will be in the fourth season of his five-year, $85 million deal. The last $12 million of his guaranteed $40 million is being paid this season. Vernon is unlikely to go anywhere next season. Sure, the Giants could save $11.5 million against the cap by cutting him. They would, however, carry a massive $8 million is dead money. They aren’t doing that.
Janoris Jenkins — Jackrabbit is perhaps the most vulnerable of all of the veterans signed to massive contracts by then-GM Jerry Reese before the 2016 season. He has no guaranteed money remaining to be paid, carries a $13.25 million cap hit next season and the Giants could save $9.25 million by moving on. The selection of Sam Beal in the NFL Supplemental Draft could well have been a sign that the Giants might be planning for a post-Jenkins future at corner.
Damon Harrison — He is the best run-stuffer on the planet, but at 350 or so pounds his knees aren’t going to hold up forever. B.J. Hill could be the Giants’ nose tackle of the future. Could that future begin in 2019? Snacks carries an $8.6 million 2019 cap number. The Giants could save $5.4 million while carrying $3.2 million in dead money by parting ways with him.
Alec Ogletree — While many, including yours truly, lauded GM Dave Gettleman for finally paying attention to the linebacker position when he acquired Ogletree from the Los Angeles Rams, this is the new GM’s most questionable salary-cap move thus far. Ogletree carries an $11.75 million cap hit next season, and he really isn’t a player who should be chewing up 6.2 percent of a team’s cap. Problem is, the Giants are pretty much stuck with that deal unless they can re-negotiate it. They could save $6.5 million against the cap by cutting him, but being stuck with $5.25 million in dead money is likely prohibitive.
Jonathan Stewart — Yes, there have been tons of questions about why Gettleman signed Stewart in the first place. No, he isn’t going anywhere this year. Not with $2.95 million in guaranteed salary, $3.45 million in dead money if the Giants cut him and only a savings $475,000 vs. the cap. Next year is a different story. The Giants could save $2.95 million vs. the cap with only $250,000 in dead money. That’s why we keep telling you Stewart is really on a one-year deal.
Rhett Ellison — A four-year, $18 million contract was a massive one for a blocking tight end. The Giants would save $3.25 million against the cap and carry $2.5 million in dead money by cutting Ellison before next season.
Patrick Omameh — Even if the veteran guard doesn’t play the Giants hope, he probably isn’t going anywhere until after the 2019 season. He carries a $6.25 million 2019 cap hit. The Giants could save $3.15 vs. the cap by moving on, but would be stuck with $3.1 million in dead money.