The New York Giants salary cap situation is the gift that just keeps on giving, at least for 2022.
Per OverTheCap, the Giants are once again over the NFLs salary cap. Or at least they will be when their initial 53-man roster and 16-man practice squad are finalized after 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Based on where rosters stand right now the teams who should need to create cap space by next Tuesday (cap space includes PS estimates):— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) August 31, 2022
1. Giants: -$4.6M
2. Lions: -$2.6M
3. Jets: -$2.6M
4. Patriots: -$1.7M
5. Eagles: -$185K
6. Rams: -$22K
7. Ravens: $760K
Per OTC, the Giants are projected to be $4.6 million over the 2022 salary cap. They had a scant $5 million in cap space under the offseason rules. However, accounting for regular season -- which includes going from the top 51 salaries to the full 53-man roster, paying injured players as well as their replacements, and the 16-man practice squad has more than eaten up that number.
For the second time in 2022, the Giants seem to find themselves in the position of needing to clear cap space simply to be compliant with the NFL's rules. They will also need to clear some space for a "rainy day" fund in order to sign any mid-season replacements for injured players.
There have been reports that the Giants have been fielding calls regarding possible trades for wide receiverDarius Slayton. That would free up about $2.5 million, but the Giants would still have work to do.
The team has a few other options for creating cap space, but no particularly appealing ones. They could restructure Leonard Williams or Kenny Golladay's contracts to free up more space this year, but that would sacrifice space in future seasons. Schoen has said that he would only compromise future cap space as a matter of last resort. The Giants are projected to have roughly 63.6 million in cap space (per OverTheCap) in 2023, but they would much rather save as much of that to spend on roster improvements in 2023 as they can.
The team could try to trade Golladay, but it seems very unlikely that they could find a suitor for a pure salary dump and might have to throw in draft consideration just to make the trade work.
It would have to be a trade modeled on the Houston Texans 2017 trade of Brock Osweiler, a 2017 sicth-round pick, and a 2018 second-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2017 fourth-round pick. While it cost the Texans considerable draft capital, it did allow them to off-load Osweiler’s four-year, $72 million contract. The Giants would likely have to be desperate to consider a move like that, and it would also mean finding a trade partner.
Likewise, the Giants could probably find trade suitors for Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley. But it seems extraordinarily unlikely that they’d want to move on from them before the season.
However the Giants do it, they need to get under the cap. That's why Schoen and his front office make the big bucks. We can only wait and see what they do, but how they do it bears watching.