Introduction to the 2015 New York Giants Salary Cap Series

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This offseason, I’m going to go through the Giants salary cap and discuss what they should do to prepare for the 2015 season. I think this will be a great teaching tool for myself to learn more about the salary cap and to engage with you guys on some of the lessons to learn in the cap.

I’m also going to discuss an ongoing experiment I’m doing where I look at the percentage teams spend on each position and try to find a correlation between spending and performance on the field. Of course, with injuries, these numbers can sometimes go out of whack and you’ll also see what a bad contract can do to a team’s salary cap.

For example, it’s becoming increasingly important to spend your money on defensive ends, but when a team like the Buccaneers go out and give Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle, a contract that’s bigger than Ndamukong Suh’s, then you put yourself in a tough situation with the cap. As good a player as McCoy is, he can’t provide the kind of performance that warrants the Bucs spending 16% of their salary cap on him in 2014. As good as he is, is he more valuable than basically every quarterback in the NFL? And, because of McCoy’s contract, the Bucs used 29.7% of their cap on the defensive line in 2014.

Another example of this is the Jaguars who had five defensive linemen making over $4 million in 2014, Roy Miller made $3 and Andre Branch made another $1.4 million. Due to spending on the defensive line, they only spent 6% of their cap on defensive backs. At a time where 12-win teams are spending 18% of their cap on DBs and the average team is spending 14.3%, it’s clear that the Jaguars are taking an unbalanced approach.

These are the some of the questions I hope to raise in the coming months as I try to dissect the Giants cap situation. I look forward to it and I hope you do too.

Attached at the bottom of this article are the Excel sheets I will be referencing throughout this offseason that look at positional spending for Offense, Defense, the Giants, and will break down spending on 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

In the next few weeks, I will also break spending on the offensive and defensive lines as well as linebackers into each position.

Now, I’ll get into some of the information we need to look at regarding the New York Giants as they head into the 2015 offseason.

Main Free Agents:

  • Henry Hynoski, FB
  • Jerrel Jernigan, WR
  • Larry Donnell, TE
  • Daniel Fells, TE
  • James Brewer, OG
  • John Jerry, OG
  • Adam Snyder, OG
  • Dallas Reynolds, OG
  • Mike Patterson, DT
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, DE
  • Mark Herzlich, OLB
  • Spencer Paysinger, OLB
  • Jacquian Williams, OLB
  • Walter Thurmond, CB
  • Zack Bowman, CB
  • Chykie Brown, CB
  • Stevie Brown, FS
  • Quintin Demps, FS
  • Antrel Rolle, SS

2015 Giants Free Agents

Giants that were on the on the IR this year:

I think that this is something we should keep in mind because of all the talent they had injured this year. Due to this, so much of what we have in our minds for what the Giants need to do might already be on their roster, but were just injured.

Offense:

  • David Wilson, RB (retired)
  • Michael Cox, RB
  • Peyton Hillis, RB
  • Victor Cruz, WR
  • Jerrel Jernigan, WR
  • Marcus Harris, WR
  • Geoff Schwartz, OG
  • James Brewer, OG

Defense:

  • Robert Ayers, DE
  • Mathias Kiwanuka, DE
  • Jon Beason, MLB
  • Jacquian Williams, OLB
  • Prince Amukamara, CB
  • Walter Thurmond, CB
  • Trumaine McBride, CB
  • Bennett Jackson, CB
  • Cooper Taylor, FS

 

 

Without looking too closely at the cap, that’s something we’ll do later, I want to share some of my thoughts on what I think the Giants could use heading into 2015. The excitement Odell Beckham Jr. created will carry the Giants and fans into this offseason feeling much better than we all felt in October. With all the injuries they’ve had these last two years, Tom Coughlin and the crew have a lot to be proud of. I know the average fan is upset about two disappointing seasons in a row, but what are the Giants supposed to do when they lead the league in games missed by starters two years in a row?

Something worth noting is that GM Jerry Reese told reporters at his year-end press conference that they’re not going to go out and spend a bunch of money in free agency like last offseason when they spent $116.3 million.

This year, the Giants would have had a great draft class this year just with Odell Beckham, but they got three guys who look like they’ll be long-time contributors in Weston Richburg, Andre Williams and Devon Kennard.

As seen above, the Giants have almost $32.6 million in expiring contracts, but they’ll still have to restructure contracts heading into 2015 as they have $119.9 million of the $140 million expected cap already locked into current players. To make the moves the Giants will want to make in free agency and the draft, they’ll need to restructure contracts like Eli Manning who will be a $20.4 million cap hit in 2015, which is the last year of his contract. Some of the larger contracts that the Giants could get creative with are those of Victor Cruz, Will Beatty, and Mathias Kiwanuka, but the one that would make the biggest impact would be Eli Manning’s contract.

Manning had his best statistical season since 2011 with 4,410 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions, a far cry from the 27 he threw last year and a number that could improve with another year in this system. It’s especially impressive that he played this way due to the amount of injuries around him this year.

Manning will be 34 next season, but with the talent at the wide receiver position, talent that’s locked into contracts for the next three or four years, I see no reason why the Giants shouldn’t resign him to a new four or five year deal. For Manning, it makes sense for him to try to work out another long term deal this year as well because of the good season he had, rather than gambling on himself next season, which he’ll be 35 at the end of.

With that said, below are the positions that the Giants need help at, in my upcoming pieces, I’ll break down what I think they should do at each position whether it’s through the draft or free agency.

  • Pass rusher (DE or OLB)
  • ILB
  • RB
  • DT
  • FB
  • FS
  • SS
  • CB
  • TE

Again, moving forward, I’ll break down what I think the Giants should do at each position and below are the Excel sheets that I’ll be referencing moving forward. Save them for yourself so that you can come up with your own theories regarding salary cap spending for the NFL or for your favorite team.

Click on the images to enlarge them:

Figure 1: 2014 End of Season Offensive Positional Spending

2014 Offensive Positional Spending

Figure 2: 2014 End of Season Defensive Positional Spending

2014 Defensive Positional Spending

Figure 3: 2014 End of Season Defensive Positional Spending (with Base Defenses)

2014 Defensive Spending with Base Defense

Figure 4: 2015 Giants Salary Cap Against League Averages

2015 Giants Cap vs. League Averages

@ZackMooreNFL

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Jon Beason To Have Season Ending Surgery

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Add Jon Beason to the list of players who will finish the season on Injured Reserve. Beason’s whose career has been derailed by injuries since 2011, was traded to the Giants in 2013 and made it through the season healthy. He was one of the best players on their defense and because of that received a new 3 year contract from the team in the offseason.

There is always a risk when you sign an often injured player and there is a question as to whether or not this injury likely spells the end of his Giants career. The Giants tried as best as possible to minimize some of that risk by using a number of per game active roster bonuses in his contract.

Since Beason will land on IR after just 7 games, he will lose $450,000 in potential salary this year.  The Giants should receive a $400,000 credit for Beasons lost bonus money that will go towards next years salary cap or be an offset for paying off other incentives earned by others.

Beason has $1.2 million in roster bonuses next season which will now count for $525,000 against the 2015 salary cap. That should leave Beason with an offseason cap charge of $6.69 million with the potential to earn $5.9 million in salary. Those numbers are probably enough to consider parting ways.

$900,000 of Beason’s $3.6 million 2015 salary is guaranteed, but that would likely be offset if he continues to play football and signs with another team. The Giants paid Beason a $4.4 million signing bonus this year so his total dead money charge would be $3.83 million.  That would amount to a cap space increase of  about $2.85 million.

The Giants should have over $20 million in cap space next year assuming a $140 million cap which puts them in the middle of the pack with the NFL, so its not crucial to create cap space. but they do have contract decisions to be made on Antrel Rolle and Jason Pierre Paul. Beason has an offseason roster bonus due the 5th day of the 2015 League Year so any decisions or contract restructures will need to be made before that.

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Best & Worst Contracts 2014: New York Giants

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Today’s best and worst entry features the New York Giants

Best Contract: Walter Thurmond

Walter ThurmondFor the most part picking through the Giants best contracts comes down to identifying short term deals that seem like good values. Many of their longer term contracts are heavier on bonus money and/or guarantees that lead to a much more player friendly rather than team friendly structure. Of the better contracts on their books I liked Walter Thurmond’s contract as much as anyone’s on the team. I see the Giants as a team somewhat at the crossroads where their long term prospects are tied to how Eli Manning looks in 2014. If Manning looks good the Giants have as good a chance at winning the NFC East as anyone and most likely he will be the face of the Giants for another four years. If he looks bad the Giants will probably need to reboot their team.

Thurmond fits in with both scenarios. He is a high upside player that has the potential to lock down one of the cornerback positions and be a major asset in a playoff run. If the team falters, it’s just a one year contract with no long term implications, something that is an issue with most of the Giants more recent signings.

Thurmond’s contract carries a base value of $3 million which is very reasonable for a player who could prove to be a solid number two cornerback. Because it is a one year contract and the player is hoping to hit it big in free agency the team knows they will get the best out of the player. Nothing prevents the Giants from re-signing Thurmond in the event things go well and the Giants have shown a willingness to do just that, as seen by the contract signed with Jon Beason.

There is really no downside to this contract.  It is low cost and low risk and fits the team situation perfectly. If things go as expected Thurmond will likely get a nice raise next season when he signs a multi year contract extension and the Giants will benefit from a low cost year for a starting player. It’ a win-win contract for both sides.

Worst Contract: Will Beatty 

If ever there was a team that deserved co-winners for worst contract it would be the Giants. I really have a hard time determining which move was worse for the team: the over-reaching on Will Beatty or the front ended contract given to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The DRC signing was one of the worst contracts of the 2014 offseason while Beatty had an entire year of regression that made him look like one of the most overpaid players in the NFL.  I really could go either way but in this case I’ll select the player that has played in Giant blue rather than the player who has yet to do so.

Teams should always be cautiously optimistic when a player turns around what looks to be a middle of the road career. Beatty, a 2nd round draft pick in 2009, was a slow to develop player. In 2009 and 2010 he was mainly a special teams player and an extra lineman, starting just 6 games over the two year period. He grabbed the starting job in 2011 where he cemented himself as potential starting player and then played extremely well in his walk year. The Giants completely bought in at that point.

Beatty became the standard bearer for the non-elite tier of tackles in the NFL, being given a $7.5 million a year contract with essentially $19 million in full guarantees. The Giants gave Beatty a great deal of job security through a large $12.5 million signing bonus. Among veteran left tackles on long term deals, the percentage of contract guaranteed is first in the NFL and the full guarantee trails only Duane Brown and Branden Albert. Albert was signed a year after Beatty.

The contract structure was designed to be similar to the deal signed by Brown in 2012, if Brown’s contract was viewed as a completely new contract rather than an extension. A big difference is that Brown receiving such a structure did not hurt the Texans as badly since Houston had a year already on his contract to work with. Beatty’s contract will still contain $5 million of dead money in the 4th year of his contract compared to just $2.5 million for Brown.

Arguably the only comparable player with a worse structured contract is Sam Baker’s in Atlanta. If Beatty fails this year the Giants will take on over $8 million in cap charges if they release him in 2015. He also has a $650,000 guarantee so the Giants would need to pay him a token amount to go away. If that happens the Giants will have paid $19 million for a two year contract, which is a very high figure. They need him to last at least three seasons to justify the contract and based on what we have seen that may not be that easy.

2013’s Best and Worst Giants Contracts:

2013 Best Contract: Justin Tuck (Contract expired; signed with Raiders)

2013 Worst Contract: Corey Webster (Contract voided)

Click Here to Check out OTC’s other Best and Worst Contracts from around the NFL!

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Free Agency Thoughts: New York Giants

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Key Additions: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($7M per year), Geoff Schwartz ($4.2M), Walter Thurmond ($3M), JD Walton ($3M), Rashad Jennings ($2.5M), Jameel McClain ($2.3M), Robert Ayers ($1.9M)

Key Re-Signings: Jon Beason ($5.7M per year), Stevie Brown ($2.8M), Trumaine McBride ($1.4M) , Josh Brown ($1.3M)

Key Losses: Linval Joseph (Vikings), Justin Tuck (Raiders), Hakeem Nicks (Colts), Kevin Boothe (Raiders), Keith Rivers (Bills)

Major Cuts: David Bass ($5M cap savings- June 1)

Free Agency Thoughts:

The Giants were one of the most active teams in free agency, adding 7 starting quality players to the team. This was a different approach than last season for the Giants and really for most teams in the NFL. Last season the Giants attempted to piece a team together with a large amount of minimum salary contracts to supplement the core talent. The team never fired so this year they hit free agency more aggressively but, for the most part, targeted the lower tier of available players to do so rather than signing the highest priced talent.

Of the new players they signed, Geoff Schwartz was the best signing. He is a quality player and fills and immediate need. If things do not go well it’s at worst a two year contract, but if things do go well they could have a top 10 veteran guard at a mid starter price. He should being some instant stability to what was a poor line in 2013.

Jon Beason fit incredibly well in the organization when he came via trade last year and was someone they had to keep. I would have liked to have seen less signing bonus money, but they do have over $3 million in gameday roster bonuses to protect them from injury, something Beason has struggled with.

Walter Thurmond at $3 million was another good signing. It’s a one year contract where you know you will get the best out of the player. This is not unlike the Raiders signing of Tarell Brown where there is really no downside to the decision. He should be a very productive third corner for the Giants.

Re-signing Stevie Brown was something they had to do. He was terrific in 2012 and his injury in 2013 probably hurt the team greatly. He has the ability to take advantage of mistakes on the field and essentially they are paying him $1 million for a look at his health in the summer. If healthy he is a bargain.

The Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signing was a head scratcher at the price and contract construction. He talked about retiring and only had one other real option which was the New York Jets. The Jets had been tight with money all season and represented little threat and I tend to think the Giants were just bidding against themselves. To fit him within the cap they had to give him a large signing bonus which probably guarantees him three years on the team with a significant amount of dead money the following season if cut.

Why the Giants selected JD Walton to take over at center is a mystery. They must have designs on drafting a center and Walton simply being a one year stopgap or veteran backup. Brian De la Puente, now on the Bears, was a superior player and came in much cheaper. The Giants were linked to him early and perhaps he thought too highly of himself which took the Giants out, but that would have made more sense on almost every level.

Of the lesser free agent signings I think Jennings fits the passing situation need the team wants. That said they overpaid for him and a $2.25 million signing bonus is a bit rich, but Jennings has limited wear on his body so perhaps the Giants see more upside. Still it is a high number to bank on a player who just one season ago was not wanted by most teams on a low dollar contract and it is not as if he lit the world on fire in Oakland.

Robert Ayers is a decent upside potential signing and fits in with what most former first round types would get. The Giants have incentives in the deal which they will gladly pay if he develops into a better pass rusher….Jameel McClain will likely be lost in the shuffle, but it was a low risk contract.

Losing Linval Joseph was a mistake. He signed a top 10 positional contract in Minnesota, but he was a young player that was very important to the teams’ better play in the second half of last season.  Perhaps the Giants did not feel he was a strong enough pass rusher to justify the contract, but it is a risky move to abandon the player.

None of the other losses should concern the team. While the loss of Tuck probably has some hurt feelings, the fact is his production had been declining for years before he played much better in his walk year and much of the standout production came in his two games against the Redskins. That’s not something the Giants could pay much for. I think everyone knew the time was over for Hakeem Nicks and the Giants.

Overall Grade: C+

The Giants got better this offseason but I question the cost of doing so, in particular the Rodgers-Cromartie contract that is very player friendly for a player who is by no means a sure-fire bet. They would have been better off committing to Joseph and finding another second tier cornerback. The Giants pushed a few guys into a paycut and did not rework the contract of either Eli Manning or Antrel Rolle, which was a good move since both could be on their way out next season.

I think the team has added far better depth for next season, some of whom bring some upside on lower cost contracts. The way they approached the offseason tells me that they are unsure of where they are right now and how competitive the team can be. Most of this feels like a team making keeping their fingers crossed and taking one last chance with this group. I think they are at a position where I could see them getting hot, if Manning is on a good year, and going deep in the playoffs or just completely falling apart and having to sort through a veteran roster for at least one more year before they can get younger and competitive, likely with a new GM, head coach, and QB.

2014 New York Giants Offseason Salary Cap and Financial Report

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Welcome to one of the newest additions to the Over the Cap website: the offseason Financial Scouting Report, which should help serve as a guide to a teams’ offseason planning for the 2014 season.  This will be our fifth report and will break down some thoughts on the New York Giants. Each report will contain a breakdown of the current roster, a look at performance from 2013, salary cap outlooks, free agents, salary cap cuts, draft costs, extension candidates, and possible free agent targets. The hope is to do a report for all 32 teams by the start of Free Agency, if time allows. Thus far we have covered the Jets, Dolphins, Texans, and Cowboys.

Because the report contains some graphs and charts and over 5,000 words it is available for download as an Adobe PDF file that you can read at your leisure offline and keep for a handy reference during the year rather than as a blog post. The report is free for download and reading, but if you find the report useful and would like to help OTC continue to grow and add content like this we would appreciate the “purchase” of the report for just $1.00 by clicking the Paypal link below or the one within the report. Also if using any of the graphs or salary data please just add a reference to OTC when doing so.

giants fin report




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Giants Gain $1.25 Million in Cap Space With Snee Restructure

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I don’t any firm source on this, but based on NFLPA records it seems as if the Giants have again restructured the contract of G Chris Snee by passing along $2.5 million of his $4.2 million base salary in the form of a signing bonus.The Giants cap was so tight after the signing of FB John Conner ($60,000) that they were in a position where they had to make a move just to function for the rest of the year. Snee has always been the teams go to guy for restructures and they went there again.

It does not seem any other changes were made to the contract and essentially the Giants are simply deferring $1.25 million in cap charges to 2014 when their salary cap books are a bit cleaner than they are in 2013. Snee’s cap next year should be $11.75 million with a dead money charge of $4.5 million if released. With the Giants in the middle of a very disappointing season he could be one of many veterans let go after the season, but for now he’ll give the Giants some much needed breathing room.

If I hear anything more on the contract I will pass it along.

View Chris Snee’s Contract and Salary Cap Page

Follow @Jason_OTC

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Giants Restructure Contracts of G Snee and P Weatherford

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I had discussed yesterday how the Giants were the final team left that was required to make salary cap related moves to become cap compliant and now we have the details of what the team did.

The Giants once again went to their “go to guy” when it comes to contract restructures in G Chris Snee, whose restructuring of his contract is almost an annual ritual. Snee reduced his base salary for 2013 by $2. 5 million, the difference of which will be prorated over the remaining two years of the contract. This created $1.25 million in cap room for the Giants.

The second move the team made was restructuring P Steve Weatherfords contract. Again this was a minimal reshuffling of money to just give the Giants whatever minimal room they required to comply with the salary cap in 2013. The Giants converted $900,000 of Weatherford’s salary into a bonus that will be prorated over the remainder of the contract. The Giants gained $675,000 in cap room with the move. Weatherford’s cap charge will rise by $225,000 in each remaining season he is with the Giants.

View Chris Snee’s Salary Cap and Contract Page

View Steve Weatherford’s Salary Cap and Contract Page

View Steve Weatherford’s Interactive Cap Chart

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