How Does Giants Rebuild Help Cap Situation?

No doubt in rebuild mode, the New York Giants are making moves in Week 7 that they are hoping will secure their core in the future. It isn’t surprising, given their recent roster moves.

It has already been a busy week for the Giants who lost 23-20 on Monday night in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter, they traded away former first-round pick Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints for multiple draft picks. On Thursday morning, they made official a trade of Damon Harrison, one of the game’s top interior defensive lineman, to the Detroit Lions. Harrison was a major free agent signing three years ago and has been one of this team’s most consistent players, and a Pro Bowl caliber player at his position.

[DYER: Giants Must Embrace True Meaning Of Rebuild]

For a 1-6 team, these moves aren’t surprising. They are necessary, especially if the Giants are serious about a much-needed and long-awaited rebuilding of their roster.

This won’t be a quick and easy rebuild. The Giants must address glaring issues along their offensive line, their pass rush and, at some point, they will need to invest at the quarterback position. There also is the need to re-sign safety Landon Collins, twice a Pro Bowl selection as he enters his fourth year in the NFL.

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So the Giants need to make sure that they have the salary cap space to orchestrate some of these moves this offseason and begin the rebuilding in earnest. The two draft picks obtained for Apple and the fifth round pick for Harrison are nice, but so to is the cap flexibility needed to make some long-term moves.

Eli Manning speaks with the media after the Giants fell to 1-6 with a loss to Atlanta.

 

“All told the Giants will create an extra $1.07 million in cap space by trading Apple now rather than waiting until the offseason to release him or trade him,” said Jason Fitzgerald, founder of OverTheCap.com. “They will gain an extra $4.56 million by trading Harrison. That is money they can carry over to next year. The Giants will save a total of $9.5 million next year between the two as well but that money would have been saved had they just released next year.”

It is money that will be important as this team looks to re-sign Collins, who likely will be the top paid safety in the NFL next season. The Giants also need to address depth issues across the board in this rebuild and the money saved in these trades that can be carried over to next offseason is vital for general manager, Dave Gettleman.

All the moves so far – and there could be more coming – may not make much of a dent. The Giants, after giving wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. a long-term contract this offseason with significant guaranteed money, already were tight against the salary. These moves help but the Giants likely aren’t eying up a huge offseason cash splash in 2019.

They simply may not have the resources to do so and retain their viability under the salary cap.

“Right now we project the Giants to have around $21 million in cap space next season which is the tenth lowest number in the league,” Fitzgerald said. “They have the ability to make that grow significantly larger by cutting or trading more players.”

Fitzgerald is considered one of the top salary cap analysts when it comes to the NFL. He also writes for the Sporting News on contract and cap-related issues.

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