In need of financial relief entering an offseason likely to see an unprecedented drop in the salary cap, the New York Giants are reportedly trying to trade veteran guard Kevin Zeitler.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reports that a trade of Zeitler is “not likely” given that a team trading for Zeitler would have to pick up his $12 million salary for 2021. LaCanfora said teams around the league anticipate Zeitler being released, and that he would generate “significant interest” if that happens.
Zeitler carries a $14.5 million cap hit for 2021. The Giants can save $12 million against the cap by trading or releasing the nine-year veteran, who spent the last two seasons in New York after being acquired from the Cleveland Browns in a trade that sent Olivier Vernon to Cleveland.
The Giants could re-structure Zeitler’s contract, lowering the cap hit and adding a couple of seasons to it. Should LaCanfora’s report prove accurate, it sounds as if the Giants will move on from the player who was regarded as their best offensive lineman the past two seasons.
To replace Zeitler, the Giants could turn to either Will Hernandez or Shane Lemieux, who are each on their rookie contracts. Both players are primarily left guards, but one could move to the right side.
The Giants could, of course, also look to the draft for a replacement.