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Draft scenarios, cap questions, more in this week’s BBV mailbag

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The mail’s here, so let’s get to it

Good morning, New York Giants fans! Let’s get right to the BBV Mailbag and see what questions we can answer for you this week.

Paul Miller asks: I’d rather see the Giants improve the o-line and their defense in the draft rather than taking a qb. I’m a believer in Eli and think he can still win with a better line and defense. My question is how does dead money effect the Giants cap?

Ed says: Dead money is just that. Dead. It is money allocated vs. the salary cap to players who are no longer on your team. It counts against the cap and is, obviously, money you can’t use to add talent to your current roster.

Dead money occurs because of salary cap rules. Signing bonuses and some other bonuses are prorated. They may be paid upfront to players when a deal is signed, but for accounting/cap purposes they are spread out over as many as five years. Thus, you can get rid of a player after two years and, if his signing bonus is prorated over four seasons, that prorated charge counts against your cap for two years.

Per Over The Cap, the Giants are carrying $9.656 million in dead money.

Here is a great look from last fall by cap expert Joel Corry both explaining dead money and showing why it really hurt the Giants a season ago.

Dave Propper asks: This is more a question about trade financial mechanics than about getting Keenum in particular. If the Giants brain trust like him as a QB but not at his salary ($18m per Spotrac), could the trade include the Broncos assuming some of that salary, say $5m, so we are only responsible for $13m which, if you like him as a player, might be more palatable?

Ed says: Dave, it’s my understanding that if the Giants — or any team — were to acquire Case Keenum in a trade they would assume the entire $18 million of his base salary. UNLESS all sides agree to an amended contract as part of the trade. Here is the scenario, courtesy of Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap:

“The way it would work is that Denver would have to sign Keenum to a new deal. In that deal Denver would pre-pay whatever salary is agreed upon as a signing bonus so that it doesn’t transfer to the new team. Then they would trade the amended contract.”

Contracts can, of course, also be re-worked once a player is acquired.

Bob Cooper asks: I have always wondered why Bill Belichick never became the Giants HC. It seemed to make a lot of sense that this would happen after Bill Parcells retired. I’ve seen bits and pieces, but never the full story. Do you have any insights?

Ed says: Letting Belichick, and Tom Coughlin, get away and ending up with Ray Handley as head coach is the greatest blunder of George Young’s time with the Giants. All I know for certain is that Young and Belichick did not get along and the GM didn’t think Belichick had the personality to be a head coach. By the time Bill Parcells stepped down as Giants coach, Belichick and Coughlin had both moved on. Here’s more on the story.

Steve Schlein asks: While BBVers will spend a lot of time fantasizing about a stud linebacker in Round 1, don’t we have to take an O-lineman with one of first two picks since we don’t have a 3rd? If so, that would seem to preclude picking a defensive stud with the first pick unless we solve QB problem in free agency or the G-men’s brain trust waits until next year.

Ed says: Thanks for the question, Steve, but you’re putting the cart waaaay before the horse. First of all, the Giants don’t “have” to do anything in terms of taking players at certain positions in certain rounds. That’s just not how you draft successfully. Second of all, let’s see how free agency pans out. Too many fans forget that veteran free agency comes first, and that’s where teams try to fill as many “needs” as possible. They try to use the draft to accumulate talent. We have no idea what the offensive line need will be until we see what happens in free agency. Overall, the Giants need to add to the offensive line, pretty much every level of the defense and find a quarterback of the future if they can. What order they do it in is pretty much irrelevant. What’s important is getting good players.

Jim Moriarty asks: Assuming we go into the second round of the draft without securing a RT in the first round or free agency, would you trade Sterling Shepard for a top half second round pick? Many teams need receivers, and while I like Shepard, we are desperate for right tackle and D help, and this draft may have some plug and play right tackles in early round 2. Shepard isn’t redundant, but he might be easier to replace, and Engram gives us some additional firepower.

Ed says: No. Thanks for the question. Jim, the reality is the Giants are one of those teams that need receivers, too. If they were to trade Shepard and not add an established receiver in free agency, Odell Beckham Jr. would be the only reliable wide receiver on the roster. That’s not enough. I don’t believe in creating one problem to solve another. Also, I never believe in saying “we have to draft a guy at a certain position in a certain round.”

Also, I don’t think anyone out there is giving up a second-round pick for Shepard. The Eagles gave up a third for Golden Tate. The Texans gave up a fourth for Demaryius Thomas. Buffalo gave up a three and a seven (and ended up wishing they hadn’t] for Kelvin Benjamin.

Bruce Frazer asks: Picking a franchise QB in Rd #1 is no lock. Who would have projected a 6th round pick (Brady) would possibly become the best QB of all time. If the Giants move down in the first round to accumulate more picks do you think they take a QB with their Rd #1 pick or do they look for a diamond in a later round while first addressing the O-line and the defense in say the first several rounds?

Ed says: Bruce, there is really no way to answer that. How far down are they moving? How many quarterbacks are off the board before they pick? How many quarterbacks do the Giants believe are worthy of being selected in the first round? Do they look at the board and believe a guy they like will be there in Round 2? If the Giants want a quarterback not named Dwayne Haskins in Round 1, I don’t think they take him at No. 6. I think they take the best player on their board at No. 6 and either wait until Round 2 or try to use some of their extra picks to get back into the middle or late part of Round 1. But, who knows?

Matt Sanders asks: Would the Giants trade their pick at 6 for Josh Rosen and receive Arizona’s third round pick since we don’t have one?

Ed says: Matt, I highly doubt that. First, we can speculate all we want about the Arizona Cardinals being willing to trade Rosen, but that’s all it is right now. In the end, I think Arizona drafting Kyler Murray and trading Rosen is unlikely. As for what the Giants would give up, I can only guess. I know that I wouldn’t give up the No. 6 overall pick. No chance. Not for a guy who would, in 2019, be the backup quarterback. I might offer a couple of second-round picks and see what happens. As for a third-round pick, I would think Dave Gettleman will try to use some of the plethora of picks he has in Rounds 4-7 to move up and get a third-round selection.

Matthew Annunziata asks: 2 part question: if the Giants were to trade for Rosen, a) what kind of package deal would be considered and b) would the Giants still have that 5th year option on him since he was a first round pick?

Ed says: Matt, as i said above I’m not really sure what the Giants would be willing to give up. The one thing I would not surrender is the No. 6 overall pick. The answer to the second part of your question is yes, the Giants would still have the fifth-year option. I verified this with Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap. As long as the date to exercise the fifth-year option has not yet passed, the acquiring team gets the right exercise that option.