The process of constructing an NFL roster never really ends. Even with the 2022 NFL Draft and the main part of free agency in the rearview mirror, there is still work for GM Joe Schoen to do.
Let’s look at some of it.
A James Bradberry decision
The Giants have been unable to find a trade partner for the veteran cornerback, who carries an untenable $21.863 million salary cap hit in 2022 for the cap-strapped Giants. Another avenue for moving on from Bradberry apparently closed on Monday when the Kansas City Chiefs acquired cornerback Lonnie Johnson in a trade with the Houston Texans.
Schoen said he has contingency plans for Bradberry. With the chances of trading Bradberry appearing to dwindle, Schoen might have to simply release him. We know that is something the first-year GM doesn’t want to do. Fact is, though, releasing Bradberry as a post-June 1 cut would save the Giants $11.5 million against the cap. With Over The Cap estimating that the Giants have only $5.511 million in cap space that is money they desperately need.
A Darius Slayton decision
There have been reports that the Giants would like to trade the fourth-year wide receiver who has seen his production decrease after a promising rookie season.
It’s fair to wonder if the combination of Slayton’s dropoff in play and the proven performance escalators based on playing time that bumped his 2022 cap hit to $2.598 million could lead the Giants to release him. They would save $2.54 million agains tthe cap by doing so.
The Giants added cornerback Cor’Dale Flott and safety Dane Belton in the draft, but the Giants depth chart still reveals a need for help at cornerback and safety — especially if they move on from Bradberry.
The Giants figure to scour the waiver wire for help in these two areas right up to and through Week 1 of the 2022 NFL regular season.
One option might be a trade for Baltimore Ravens strong safety Chuck Clark. The five-year veteran is going to lose time to Ravens’ first-round pick, and could obviously slide into that role with former Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale in New York.
Front office moves
Best guess is there could be more moves coming after the firings of Chris Pettit and Kyle O’Brien. We will be following along to see what else happens.
In terms of possible additions, I wonder if Tennessee Titans Vice President of Players Personnel Ryan Cowden is a name to watch. Cowden interviewed for the Giants GM job before Schoen was hired. He worked with Schoen when both were area scouts for the Carolina Panthers early in their careers.