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NFL officially sets 2023 salary cap at $224.8 million: What it means for Giants

GM Joe Schoen has some financial flexibility this offseason, but not an unlimited amount

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL officially set the 2023 salary cap at $224.8 million on Monday, a record amount up from $208.2 million in 2022. What does that mean for the New York Giants?

The Giants currently have $44.277 million in cap space, third-most in the league. The Chicago Bears have $90.893 million and the Atlanta Falcons have $56.414 million. The Giants have $41.213 million in effective cap space, which is the amount of cap space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster.

First order of business for the Giants will be determining which of their 21 unrestricted free agents they wish to keep, and signing as many of them as possible. General manager Joe Schoen made clear during his season-ending press conference that he preferred to keep as many in-house free agents as warranted.

“The good thing about, I feel, extending people in-house (is that) you know their work ethic. You know their durability. You know their injury history. You know how they train. You know how they practice,” Schoen said. “So, in terms of eliminating some of the margin for error, it’s a known commodity.

“Ideally to me, the known commodities that are good football players that you know, that’s going to be our priority first. And then we’ll look outside the building, if we need to, to supplement the roster.”

With the salary cap set, franchise and transition tag numbers are also finalized.

From a Giants perspective, the important numbers are $32.416 million for the quarterback franchise tag and $10.91 million for the running franchise tag. The Giants, of course, have quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley entering free agency. NFL teams can tag one player, with the deadline for doing so March 7.

The Giants will clear more salary cap space when they released wide receiver Kenny Golladay. As a pre-June 1 cut, releasing Golladay would save the Giants $6.7 million and leave $14.7 million in dead cap money. Designating Golladay a post-June 1 cut would clear $13.5 million in cap space and leave $7.9 million in dead money on the 2023 books.

Another way the Giants can create additional cap space is by extending the contract of defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who carries an untenable $32.26 million cap hit in 2023, 14.3 percent of the team’s cap space.

“To have financial flexibility, nine draft picks, to be able to devise a plan where you have a little bit more flexibility and resources, I’m definitely excited about that,” Schoen said.

Let’s see what he does with it in his second offseason.