The veteran releases continue, this time with the New York Giants releasing DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka. Kiwanuka was scheduled to earn $4.85 million in salary and carry a $7.45 million salary cap charge, which was the 4th highest charge on the team. The Giants will save $4.85 million in cap space by releasing him.
The move should come as no surprise. Kiwanuka had to agree to a pay cut last season to remain on the Giants. His salary was reduced last year from slightly over $4 million to $2.25 million, which resulted in a $5.5 million cap charge. Nothing really changed to expect the Giants to consider him at more than double the salary and an extra $2 million in cap charges.
Since this was the final year of his contract there would really be no benefit to reducing his salary unless the Giants really wanted to keep him as a player, which they seemingly did not want to do. He’ll be free to explore his options in free agency as soon as the transaction is processed by the NFL. Kiwanuka would be eligible to sign a minimum salary contract with a team.
The Giants will carry a $2.625M cap charge for Kiwanuka this season. The Giants should now have somewhere in the ballpark of $23 million in cap room for the start of the new league year. They can potentially create more room by working on a lower cost contract for Victor Cruz that reflects his injuries and declining performance, rleasing Jon Beason, and extending Eli Manning. You can read my thoughts on the Giants offseason here.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.