Giants potential cap casualties: 6 players who could be leaving New York

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Leonard Williams Giants
Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams

With the NFL season heading to the Super Bowl and, sadly, no New York teams remaining, we’re firing away with our New York Giants off-season content. 

Last week we ran a full seven-round Giants mock draft and discusses whether or not the boys in blue could be big players on the free-agent market based on the players they need to re-sign

In that article, we highlighted that general manager Joe Schoen has made it clear that his priority is to extend current Giants like Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Julian Love. “Ideally to me, the known commodities that are good football players that you know, that’s going to be our priority first. And then we’ll look outside the building, if we need to, to supplement the roster.”

Given that the Giants will also likely try to restructure the contract for defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, we anticipated that the team would have around $6 million in cap space heading into free agency. 

However, there is always a way to free up more money by releasing players currently under contract. Since we know that Schoen is prioritizing “financial flexibility” this offseason, let’s dig into who the Giants might cut in order to add more money to their pool of resources. 

All salary figures are from Over the Cap

Giants Potential Cuts

Kenny Golladay

This feels like an open-and-shut case. The biggest play of the season for Golladay was his block against the Vikings in the playoffs. While it was a great play, if they’re making hype video edits of your wide receiver making a block and not one of him catching any passes then you have an issue.

Since coming to New York, Golladay has caught a total of 43 passes for 602 yards and one touchdown across two seasons. He seemed bored or disinterested on the field, and Brian Daboll essentially scaled back all of his snaps, even with the team in dire straight at wide receiver. The Giants would save $6.7 million in cap space if they cut him, while eating $14.7 million in dead money.

If they wait until after June 1st then they would save $13.5 million and have only $7.9 million in dead money, so I expect the Giants to try and wait if they can lock in the deals they need to sign with Golladay’s contract still on the books. 

Kenny Golladay Giants
New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) participates in drills against cornerback James Bradberry (24) during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams is one of the Giants’ best players, so the fans and organization likely don’t want to see him get cut, but the conversation will happen since he is signed for one more year at a salary cap hit of $32.2 million. That’s the 12th-highest mark for any player in the league and the third-highest for a non-quarterback.

Considering the Giants also need to extend fellow defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, they would have a lot of money tied up in their two tackles. Spotrac has Lawrence’s market value at $14.1 million, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get at least $15 million per year on his new contract.

Williams will be 29 and is coming off a season with 45 tackles and 2.5 sacks while missing five games with an injury. However, there have been rumors that Williams is open to restructuring his contract so that he can stay and play alongside Lawrence. If the veteran was actually willing to do that, New York would likely jump at the opportunity. 


Adoree’ Jackson

Jackson is another interesting potential cut. The 27-year-old is a solid player but has a hard time staying on the field, playing just 25 games over the last three seasons combined. He has recorded 15 passes defended for New York over the last year years but just one interception. Considering he’s signed for $11 million next season, the Giants need to decide if they’re getting enough production for that cap hit.

If New York cut him before June 1st, they would eat a $10.48 million dead cap hit but would save $8.6 million. If they wait until after June 1st, the dead money drops to $7.48 million, while the team would save $11.58 million. It’s also entirely plausible that the two sides agree to restructure Jackson’s deal so that he can remain signed for a few more years. 


Graham Gano

Gano is included here because he’s a kicker and the Giants would free up $2.87 million in cap space by cutting him. Gano has been great for New York, and we saw in Dallas’ playoff run that a reliable kicker can be nice for peace of mind; however, the team could also bring in young, cheap competition for Gano and see if they can free up some extra money by letting the veteran go. If he’s cut after June 1st, the team would save $3.75 million. 


Darnay Holmes

I know it’s surprising to suggest moving on from a 24-year-old former 4th-round pick, but Holmes was drafted by a previous regime, so there is always some worry there. He only started two games for the Giants this year and just 11 in his three years combined. He has recorded only two career interceptions, but he did have eight passes defended and a career-high 38 tackles this year, so maybe the team sees growth. However, his name will likely be discussed because the Giants would save $2.75 million by moving on. 


Collin Johnson

The Giants would save Johnson’s $1.01 million salary by cutting him. Since he didn’t play this year and was only able to pull down 11 catches for 105 yards in 2021 on a team depleted of wide receiver talent, there is a decent chance New York looks for low-cost receiver depth elsewhere. 

For more on the Giants, visit AMNY Sports


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