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To get under salary cap, Giants begin chipping away

Restructuring Josh Jackson’s contract is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done

Cleveland Browns Training Camp
Dave Gettleman
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The New York Giants on Monday agreed to a re-structured contract with reserve cornerback Josh Jackson, driving his 2021 salary cap hit down by slightly more than $400K.

The Jackson restructure is part of a larger, and necessary, effort by the Giants to get under the salary cap by Thursday, when the top 51 rule expires and the salaries of all players on the roster, practice squad, suspended or PUP list count toward the cap.

Over The Cap explained this way:

During the NFL offseason the league only accounts for 51 players base salaries in the calculation of the salary cap for each team. When the regular season begins that changes to the full NFL roster. What that means is that we go from 51 players to generally somewhere around 75 players which includes your 53 man roster, 16 practice squad players, and however many players you have on injured reserve, NFI, suspension, or PUP.

To try to put each team’s salary cap space in a better perspective we always jump the gun with a switch at OTC by moving the clock forward right after final cuts. This way you can easily see which teams have room for new contracts, which teams probably have to do contract modifications, and so on. However this will put some teams in a position of looking as if they are over the cap which would be against the rules of the NFL. In actuality they have until next Thursday [Sept. 9] to get get under the cap since the league is still using the top 51 rule until the regular season begins.

So when you see a team like the Giants at $4.5 million over the cap all it means is they have some work to do. The Giants for example have a huge list of players on IR (they have 12 and the next closest is 8). They will likely cut a good chunk of those players with injury settlements dropping their cap charges from say $440,000 to somewhere around $50,000. They may also need to restructure a contract as well. As long as that cap number changes by next week it is all within the rules.

Before the Jackson move, Over The Cap had the Giants as $5,871,785 over the $190 million salary cap.

The Giants actually began making some of the moves OTC said had to be made last week when they reached injury settlements with tight end Cole Hikutini, wide receiver Alex Bachman and defensive back Montre Hartage.

There will have to be more settlements and restructures, if not at least one bigger move, before Thursday. So, stay tuned.