Last year at this time, the New York Giants began an off season roster purge that saw veterans Michael Boley, Chris Canty and Ahmad Bradshaw all being released after the Super Bowl. In addition, veteran defensive players Chase Blackburn, Lawrence Tynes, Kenny Phillips and Osi Umenyiora were not pursued by the Giants as unrestricted free agents. The team also felt that tight end Martellus Bennett became too costly to resign.
This off season will probably follow a similar course, but New York needs to bring in better re-enforcements this off season than they did last year, or a replay of 2013 will be probable. In terms of what will happen over the next several weeks, here are the players under contract, who may have roster spots in jeopardy.
Corey Webster: It would be hard to fathom any situation where Webster would be on the Giants roster next year. The veteran cornerback renegotiated his contract last year to a more favorable cap number in hopes of capturing past success. But Webster scuffled through an injury plagued season, where he was inactive more than he was active. According to OverTheCap.com, cutting Webster would cost the Giants $1,250,000 against the salary next season, but does free up his non-guaranteed base salary of $1,000,000.
Brandon Myers: The former Oakland Raiders’ tight end did not seem to get into sync with quarterback Eli Manning all season. Myers signed a four-year contract with the Giants last year, but the last three years of the contract are voidable. The Giants would be on the hook for a chunk of his signing bonus ($1,125,000) if they void the contract; otherwise his 2014 salary jumps to $4,000,000. Under these conditions, the Martellus Bennett contract does not seem as crazy as it once did.
Chris Snee: Like the recently retired David Diehl, Snee has been a warrior on the offensive line for the Giants. But age and injuries have caught up to the former Pro Bowl performer. Snee has been the Giants’ go-to guy for salary restructures in the past, so to say he has been a team player is an understatement. But at $11.3 million, Snee is the Giants’ second highest paid player, behind quarterback Eli Manning. From a business standpoint, the Giants will free up almost $8 million in cap space by cutting Snee, even though he will cost the team $4.5 million in dead cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.
David Baas: The veteran center has two years remaining on a five-year contract he signed in 2011, but chances are he will not remain a Giant for the term of the contract. There remains no doubt that Big Blue needs offensive line help in the worst way this off season, so Baas will probably get a reprieve at least through the end of May. Cutting Baas now will cost the G-man $6.45 million against the cap, while waiting until June 1 makes his 2014 cap number $3.25 million. The rational move would be to keep Baas at least through OTAs and see if he can provide any help in 2014. Based on the dynamics, it would seem to be a 50-50 proposition as to whether he stays or goes.
Mathias Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka is due a bloated $7 million in 2014, after a season with 6.0 quarterback sacks and 41 total tackles. Kiwanuka did provide insurance for the G-men when Jason Pierre-Paul was rehabbing from back surgery and at times played well. Cutting the veteran defensive end from Boston College only garners $2 million in cap space, and with Justin Tuck being an unrestricted free agent, the Giants may decide to keep Kiwi for another season to transition Damontre Moore into the position.
Antrel Rolle: When your team does not make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, everything can and should be on the table. For the record, Rolle had an outstanding season, and his play should warrant at least a return for 2014. On the other side, Rolle will make $9.25 million next season, and cutting the safety would give the Giants more than $7 million in addition cap space. The smart play would be for the parties to work out an extension that makes Rolle’s contract a little more cap friendly for 2014 and extends the life of the contract for three or four years.
NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Steve Weatherford: The affable Giants’ punter carries a $2.925 million price tag for 2014, which would seem a bit high for his position. Cutting Weatherford now would net the Giants a mere $300,000 in cap space. If the team waited until after June 1, then cutting Weatherford would garner the team $2 million in cap room. Realistically, the Giants have bigger fish to fry than to meddle with someone who has handled the spotlight of New York well, not to mention the unpredictable winds at MetLife Stadium. Remembering back to the year the Giants had Matt Dodge, it would seem logical that New York maintains the status quo as far as Weatherford is concerned.