At the NFL Combine today, Tom Coughlin held his annual press conference where he addressed the media. Among other topics that he was asked about, he discussed the current status of guard Chris Snee. When asked about Snee, Coughlin responded, “Right now I am optimistic.” While Coughlin might be optimistic about his son-in-law making a comeback, you should not be. Keeping Snee on the roster at his current salary cap number ($11.3 million) would be a colossal and inexcusable mistake. If Coughlin is not willing to realize this reality, the ownership and management teams need to step in and force the decision.
As I wrote about here, the New York Giants can save $6.8 million against the 2014 NFL salary cap by releasing Snee. At one point in time, Snee was an All-Pro guard and core player for the Giants. A couple of major surgeries later and Snee is a shell of the player we once saw. He only managed to make it through three games last season, and in those three games he displayed poor flexibility and overall lackluster play.
Earlier this week it was speculated that Chris Snee would retire, but these comments should lead any fan to worry about Snee’s expectations. If Coughlin allows Snee to play out his current contract, the Giants could be facing even bigger problems on the offensive line than they experienced in 2013.
The $6.8 million in cap space that the team would free up from releasing Snee could be used immediately to find one or two players to help on the offensive line. As I wrote about here, there are several free agent offensive linemen who are flying under the radar and could be signed for less than $5 million against the cap annually.
If Snee wants to take a massive pay cut then I can understand Coughlin being optimistic about his return. At this point in his career, however, he needs to be paid no more than the veteran minimum. The Giants need to judiciously allocate their salary cap space to players who have performed well in recent years and players who have avoided injury-plagued seasons.