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Giants mock offseason 2023: Free agency, NFL Draft, and more

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Giants Brian Daboll
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll reacts after an NFL wild card football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, in Minneapolis. The Giants won 31-24.
AP Photo/Abbie Parr

The New York Giants were the surprise of the 2022 NFL season, finishing 9-7-1 and beating the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the playoffs. Head coach Brian Daboll was named Coach of the Year, and the fanbase has been energized again. 

But how can the team keep the momentum going?

The Giants started their offseason off by re-signing quarterback Daniel Jones, placing the franchise tag on running back Saquon Barkley, and bringing back veteran leader Sterling Shepard. With the NFL salary cap for 2023 now set at $224.8 million, the Giants’ cap space is nearly $16 million, which suddenly doesn’t seem like a lot.

How can the Giants maintain the financial flexibility that general manager Joe Schoen covets while improving their roster for a deeper run into the playoffs? What free agents would sense both from a cap and roster perspective? What NFL Draft pick targets would make the team more complete?

We attempt to project how the Giants will approach the next two months in a full mock offseason that includes cuts, contract restructures, free-agency signings, and draft picks. It’s a bit of a fun endeavor but one that we believe will also tune us in on what we can reasonably expect from the team this offseason. 

So let’s dive in. 

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Giants’ Potential Cuts

Giants cap room the morning of March 13 (according to Over the Cap): $15.998 million

WR Kenny Golladay 

In Joe Schoen’s press conference after the Daniel Jones signing, he openly discussed when the team might cut Golladay, saying “With Kenny, we’ll see, but there’s a good chance we just take the hit this year… If we can take our medicine this year, I think that will help us in 2024 and then get out of the business of having dead money in any year.”

That makes it seem fairly likely the team will use Golladay before June 1st and take on more dead cap so they don’t have to endure that hit next year. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $22.697 million

Kenny Golladay Giants
Sep 16, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) attempts to make a catch as Washington Football Team cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) defends in the third quarter at FedExField.Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Giants Contract Restructures

DT Dexter Lawrence

We also know from Schoen’s press conference that the team is trying to extend Dexter Lawrence, and will also look to use the signing bonus to lower Lawrence’s cap hit this year from the $12.407 million fully guaranteed he’s set to cost. 

“We’ve started talking to [Dexter’s] representatives,” Schoen said during his virtual press conference on Wednesday. “He’s on the fifth-year option; you can lower that number with a signing bonus, so the signing bonus allows you to spread the money out over the length of the contract, up to five years, and that’s how you’re able to lower the yearly amount that counts against the cap.” 

If the Giants signed Lawrence to a five-year deal worth around $14 million per season, that would be a $70 million deal, but only $40 million is guaranteed, like Javon Hargrave got from the 49ers, the Giants can turn the rest into a signing bonus and prorate that over five years to get Lawrence’s cap hit down to around $9 million for this season. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $25.31 million

 

DT Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams is also in the final year of his contract since 2024 is a void year. He’s set to count $32.26 million against the cap, but extending him, converting some base salary into a signing bonus, and spreading that out, as with Lawrence, could free up even more cap. 

Let’s assume the Giants re-sign Williams to a three-year extension, convert a large chunk of the base to a bonus, and spread that bonus out, the Giants can add even more cap space. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $30.81 million

 

Giants’ internal free agents

S Julian Love

We know the Giants want to re-sign Love since Schoen has been vocal about that. According to Spotrac, his market value is $7.9 million, and if New York gives him a three-year deal similar to what Tracy Walker got from Detroit, he could have a $16 million guaranteed and a $7 million signing bonus. Spreading that bonus out over three years could mean that Love only counts $5.89 million, or something similar, against the cap in 2023. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $24.92 million

 

Giants’ free agent signings

We know that the Giants already started the offseason by signing linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and also lost starting center Nick Gates to the Commanders

Nunez-Roches has a reported cap hit of $2.63 million, while the specific details of Okereke’s contract have not been released. However, it would be safe to assume Okereke’s cap hit will be under that $10 million per year figure, but if we project it to be just over $7 million, then he and Nunez-Roches will cost the Giants $10 million total against the cap in 2023. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $14.92 million

 

CB Marcus Peters

Joe Schoen knows the team needs help at the corner position. Marcus Peters is still one of the cornerbacks on the market and the Giants can bring him in on a short-term deal if they so choose in order for him to prove that he can rebound after injuries impacted his season last year. 

In this scenario, the Giants can sign Peters to a two-year deal to bring him back under the tutelage of Wink Martindale. Spotrac valued him at a $9.8 million AAV, but the Giants are going to have to spend a little more to bring the former Raven into the fold. New York could ink him to a two-year, $30 million deal with $22 million guaranteed, but can likely spread out the money or put some of it into a signing bonus to make Peters’ cap hit come in around $9 million. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $5.92 million

 

WR  Adam Theilen 

Another area of need the Giants have is wide receiver and giving Daniel Jones the targets he needs to be successful.  While his numbers dipped a little in 2022 and he dealt with injuries, he and the Giants make a lot of sense for each other next season. Theilen is looking for a place where he can make an impact, and New York fits that bill, and he comes at a more reasonable price tag than Odell Beckham Jr.

The Giants can ink Theilen to a one-year deal for $6 million and tack on another $2 million in signing bonuses. 

Giants updated cap room (according to Over the Cap): $3.92 million

Marcus Peters could be a Giants target this offseason
Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) celebrates after the AFC Wild Card playoff game win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Giants’ mock NFL Draft

As a reminder, just like we did with our previous mock draft, we use the NFL Mock Draft Simulator and take only who’s available in the simulation when the Giants pick. 

Rd 1, Pick 26 (Giants traded picks 25 and 128 to Cowboys for 26 and pick 90): O’Cyrus Torrence, OG Florida

Rd 2, Pick 57: Dalton Kincaid, TE Utah

Rd 3, Pick 89: Jayden Reed, WR Michigan State

Rd 3, Pick 90: D.J. Turner, CB Michigan

Rd 3, Pick 100: Daiyan Henley, LB Washington State.

Rd 5, Pick 160: Roschon Johnson, RB Texas

Rd 5, Pick 172: Ali Gaye, EDGE LSU

Rd 6, Pick 209: Tiawan Mullin, CB Indiana

Rd 7, Pick 240: Elijah Higgins, WR Stanford

Rd 7, Pick 243: Evan Hull, RB Northwestern

With Nick Gates gone, Jon Feliciano can play center with Torrence sliding in at guard. Kincaid is not likely to be on the board for the Giants in the second round, but they are not going to pass up on a weapon like him. Same for D.J. Turner, who would be a tremendous addition to the cornerback room. Reed would give the Giants a dynamic weapon in the slot, and we’ve loved Henley all off-season and think he’d be a great fit for the Giants.

The final picks are all depth pieces as Johnson is a running back the team can develop behind Saquon in case they can’t get a long-term deal signed and Gaye, who is an athletic and raw defender that has some ceiling left to reach. The rest are all special teams picks, which is a trend that Joe Schoen has carried over from Buffalo. 

For more on the Giants visit AMNY Sports