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Big Blue View mailbag: Cap questions, Twitter invasion, Darius Slayton, more

The mail’s here!

The New York Giants are rolling through OTAs, and training camp will be here before you know it. Let’s open up the Big Blue View Mailbag and answer some questions.

Eric Ravenell asks: I’ve heard the Giants 2023 salary cap situation looks really good, with the possibility of an increase in the NFL cap, its been mentioned the Giants may have upwards of $80 million, do you have any idea what it looks like? I’m an optimist, I see the Giants putting a better product on the field this year, just not sure of the outcome, I see another top 10 pick and with some money possibly available maybe filling in some positions and being much better in 2023.

Your thoughts?

Ed says: Eric, the cap situation in a year does look pretty good. Not $80 million good, but good nonetheless. Over The Cap estimates the Giants to have $54.007 million with a projected cap of $225 million. There are only four teams — Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers — projected to have more.

A lot can change between now and then. If the Giants were to use a franchise tag on Daniel Jones that would cost a projected $31.497 million. Saquon Barkley? If they tagged the running back instead of Jones that would cost $12.962 million.

What if the Giants move on from players like Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson? That will change the number.

In the end, the Giants will have some money to spend. I would expect them to be able to shop for a higher class of free agent rather than all of the one-year stop-gap players they had to sign this offseason.

That doesn’t mean they will have money to splurge. Even if they did, the big free-agent splashes generally don’t work. Fill needs with efficient signings that don’t hamstring the cap, draft well and try to keep quality players on second contracts when you can.

Ronald Buchheim asks: In a previous article projecting the final roster, you said you thought Sills might be the sixth wide receiver. But in the last mail bag, you said that Slayton could be replaced by players like C.J. Board, Richie James or Collin Johnson. Do you now rate them ahead of Sills?

Ed says: Ronald, I probably should have included David Sills in that list. Nothing has changed. I see Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson as roster locks, provided all are healthy. After that, no telling how the competition will turn out.

John McGruther asks: Do we know how much the Giants ended up saving by cutting Logan Ryan? I know there was some debate about that. He had $20M guaranteed, and only played one season under that contract with a PFF score of 60, so it was a disastrous contract whatever way you look at it.

Ed says: John, that contract was understandable when Ryan signed it. He had played well, and he was a guy Joe Judge trusted to lead the locker room. Obviously, things changed.

The Giants are carrying $11.45 million in dead money. It stinks, but these are the hard decisions that have to be made when regimes and coaching staffs change. The Giants decided simply that Ryan was a player they didn’t see as part of their future, and they didn’t want him getting in the way by taking up a roster spot and snaps for a year just because of the money.

I took a few Twitter questions to round out the Mailbag this week.

Ed says: Vlado, as of now I think you have to look at Shane Lemieux as the starter. That’s on May 21. What will it look like when the season opens on Sept. 11? Who knows?

Right now, I would have Lemieux starting. He is healthy and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson seems to be a fan.

Behind Lemieux I would probably put Max Garcia, Joshua Ezeudu, Ben Bredeson, Jamil Douglas in that order. I think Ezeudu, a third-round pick, has a chance to end up starting — if not Week 1 then at some point in the year. Right now, though, I have Garcia No. 2 based on experience. Bredeson is doing some work at center, and it will be interesting to see if that helps him earn a roster spot.

Ed says: Mark, some of those are easy. Some are not.

  • Leonard Williams isn’t going anywhere. He is still only 28 years old, is a really good player, and has a number of top-end years left. He is really the one logical candidate on the roster for GM Joe Schoen to give a contract extension that would help the Giants’ 2022 cap and lock up a good player for two or three more years.
  • Sterling Shepard? I doubt he is a Giant beyond this year. If you are making me put odds on it I would say it’s 80-20 that this will be his last year with the Giants. It would be nice if it works out otherwise, but there have been too many injuries for the Giants to pay Shepard the kind of money he will likely want.
  • Saquon Barkley? I was an advocate of the Giants moving on from Barkley this offseason. I still believe that would have made sense, and I still think it would make sense for them to consider offers at the trade deadline. That said, if he has a good year and he remains with the Giants the entire season I could see the organization using the franchise tag ($12.962 million projected) on Barkley. Of course, you can only franchise one player and there is Daniel Jones to consider.
  • So, Jones? I think odds are that Tyrod Taylor is the Giants’ Week 1 starter next season. I like Jones and hope he succeeds, but I think the Giants are going to look at quarterback prices ($31.497 million for the franchise tag) and probably upwards of that in terms of annual value if Jones plays well enough to deserve a long-term deal, and think they want to do better for that kind of money. Odds? Say 60-40, with a 60 percent chance he is somewhere else in 2023.

Ed says: Rudy, you are referring to fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger and undrafted rookie Austin Allen, both of whom play tight end. Honestly, I think there is a decent chance you get your wish.

Bellinger is making the roster, and right now I’d say there is a chance he plays a considerable amount. He is a reliable pass catcher who can play inline and split off the line. In very limited glimpses at rookie mini-camp and Thursday’s OTA, you can see the reliable hands.

I had a chance to talk to Giants tight ends coach Andy Bischoff this week, and Bischoff is high on Allen. He told me he was surprised Allen went undrafted, and thinks he is another player with the versatility to be used in multiple ways.

There is a really, really interesting tight end competition coming in training camp. It’s going to be fun to watch.

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