5 Worst Contracts for the New York Giants in 2014 According to the Salary Cap
5 Worst Salary Cap Numbers for the New York Giants in 2014
The New York Giants have several overpaid players under contract that account for way too much of their total 2014 team salary. These salary cap hits have come about from a combination of untimely contract extensions and contract restructurings. There are many factors that go into a specific player’s salary cap number at any given time. Unfortunately, this means that the Giants will gain very little salary cap relief by simply releasing some of the players with the worst salary cap numbers.
How did we get to this point? It all started after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVI when general manager Jerry Reese was faced with a difficult decision to make. The Giants, like most Super Bowl champions, had a roster to upkeep and very limited salary cap space to do it. On one hand, the roster was aging rapidly along the offensive line and their production was down. On the other hand, Reese had limited options already on the roster to replace them and a Super Bowl championship to defend.
So he opted for the short-term solution and decided to keep as much of the roster intact as possible. In order to have the ability to keep a majority of the players that made a Super Bowl possible, he needed to maneuver around with a few contracts. The term for this is contract restructuring, but often times fans get it confused with players taking a pay cut, which they are not. Instead, the restructured contract allows a team to get immediate cap relief in exchange for a greater cap hit in the following seasons.
These contracts can be toxic because it is very difficult to predict a player’s success down the line. There is no firm method to predict a player’s future injuries, and it is also hard to figure out when age will catch up to a player. This was the case for the top two worst salary cap hits in 2014, Chris Snee and David Baas.
Three of the five worst cap numbers check in along the much-maligned offensive line. When evaluating their raw cap number, keep in mind that the total salary cap that a team must stay under, for all 53 players on the active roster, is projected to be somewhere between $126-130 million. Without further ado, here are the five worst salary cap hits currently on the roster heading into the 2014 season.
*All salary information comes from Over The Cap
5. Steve Weatherford: 2014 Cap Number $2,925,000
You might be surprised to see Steve Weatheford on this list. After finishing 2011 as the eighth-best punter according to Pro Football Focus, he has dropped to 18th-best and 17th-best in the past two seasons. Just under $3 million is a large cap number to be paying for a league-average punter. Just think about it like this: Would this money be better spent on an offensive lineman? Just $300,000 against the salary cap would be saved by releasing him which makes that transaction very unlikely.
4. Mathias Kiwanuka: 2014 Cap Number $7,050,000
When the Giants signed Mathias Kiwanuka to a four-year deal averaging just over $5 million a season, part of the cap hit was back-loaded to the latter years as you can tell by his 2014 cap number. Kiwanuka recorded six sacks in 2013 but finished with just 22 total quarterback pressures on his way to grading out as the third-worst 4-3 defensive end according to Pro Football Focus. The Giants can save $1.8 million against the salary cap by releasing him.
3. Will Beatty: 2014 Cap Number $7,400,000
In my estimation, one of Reese’s biggest mistakes as a general manager was handing Will Beatty a five-year, $37.5 million contract. Beatty had an atrocious 2013 season as Eli Manning’s left tackle. He gave up 13 sacks before breaking his leg in the last game of the season. The structure of Beatty’s contract makes it impossible for the Giants to cut him.
2. Chris Snee: 2014 Cap Number $11,300,000
2013 was supposed to be a renaissance season for Chris Snee as he made his way back on the road to recovery from his offseason hip surgery. When he wasn’t ready for training camp he found out soon how tricky hip surgeries can be. Snee made it back for three regular season games before being placed on injured reserve. In those games he showed no mobility or flexibility and he was one of the worst players on the field. However, the saving grace for the Giants is that they can free up $6.8 million in salary cap space by releasing Snee.
1. David Baas: 2014 Cap Number $8,225,000
Although Davis Baas has a cap number significantly lower than Snee’s, he makes the list as the worst 2014 cap figure because of how his contract is structured. The Giants can only save $1,775,000 of the $8,225,000 against the salary cap by releasing Baas. Baas has proven time and again that he cannot stay healthy. Even when he is on the field, his play has been average.