5 New York Giants Who Must Be Kicked To the Curb Before Free Agency
5 New York Giants Who Must Be Cut Before Free Agency Begins
As the New York Giants get set to enter the most important free agency period since the 2005 offseason, there is still work that needs to get done. If the Giants want to build a winning roster again, they need to address a myriad of needs that include almost every position besides quarterback, wide receiver, right tackle, defensive line and safety. In order to address these needs, they will need to create more salary cap space by releasing veterans who carry a high salary cap number that they no longer earn on the field.
The process automatically started for the Giants last week when the contracts of Corey Webster and Brandon Myers both voided. In 2013, those two players accounted for a combined $6.47 million in salary cap space. A couple of weeks before that, David Diehl retired and his salary came off the books. In 2013, Diehl counted $3.12 million against the salary cap. Combined, those three players counted for about 8 percent of the team’s total salary cap in 2013.
Removing these three players from the 2014 roster provides the Giants with a foundation, but at the same time none of the three players performed up to their contracts in 2013 and the decision to not bring them back was easy. Now comes the hard part and the Giants will be faced with making some very difficult decisions.
The following five players all carry a 2014 cap hit that is not justified by their play. The Giants will gain some salary cap relief from each player’s release, with some terminations resulting in greater gains than others. Regardless, in order for the Giants to address their positions of greatest need, they need to let go of these players.
*All salary cap information comes from Overthecap.com.
5. John Conner
John Conner filled in admirably for Henry Hynoski who went down to injury in 2013. However, Hynoski stands as a much better fit for new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s scheme. Judging off the west coast offense in Green Bay that he plans to base his scheme off of, the best fit for the Giants at fullback will be a versatile player who is also an occasional threat in the passing game. There is only room for one fullback on the Giants roster and on almost any roster in the modern day NFL. Releasing Conner will provide the Giants with $740,000 in cap space that they can use to sign Hynoski.
4. Steve Weatherford
A one-time NFL playoffs hero back in 2011, Steve Weatherford has fallen off in terms of production in the past two seasons. He is set to count for $3 million against the 2014 salary cap and that number is too high for a league-average punter. That money could be better spent on addressing depth at the Giants' position of greatest need—offensive line.
3. Mathias Kiwanuka
Mathias Kiwanuka signed a two-year contract extension just two years into a four-year contract he originally signed in 2011. The result of this “extension”, which in reality was just a way for the Giants to get under the salary cap at that time, is a giant salary cap figure for 2014—$7.05 million to be exact. According to Pro Football Focus, Kiwanuka finished as the second-worst 4-3 defense end in 2013. By releasing Kiwanuka, the Giants can give his snaps to talented second-year defensive end Damontre Moore. The Giants can save $1.8 million against the salary cap by releasing him.
2. David Baas
The Giants can only save $1,775,000 of the $8,225,000 against the salary cap by releasing David Baas, but that’s not the point. Saving even just $1,775,000 against the 2014 salary cap is worth it to get rid of Baas because he can never stay on the field for an extended period of time and at his best he is only a league average center.
1. Chris Snee
At one point in time, Chris Snee was an all-pro guard and one of the core players for the Giants. Several lower-body surgeries later, he is a shell of his former self and he no longer has the flexibility to succeed in the NFL. Snee counts for a whopping $11.3 million against the 2014 salary cap. If and when the Giants release him, they will save $6.8 million in 2014 salary cap space.