Saturday Shootaround: Giants get much-needed cap relief

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The NFL officially raised the salary cap to $133 million for the 2014 season yesterday. That is a $10 million jump from last season. Teams will also be able to carry over any leftover salary space from 2013. The Giants used all of their cap space in 2013, so they will not have any carryover. The average team has over $6 million in leftover space.

According to our colleague over at SB Nation, Ed Valentine, the Giants will be dealing with about $19 million in cap space, a godsend for a team that has struggled to stay under the league-mandated benchmark the past few seasons.

The league also announced the franchise tag amounts for the 2014 season. The Giants rarely exercise their right in this regard, electing to use the franchise tag only three times over the past twenty years.

Former Giant great Michael Strahan, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, has a special request for the sculptors of his bust. From PFT:

Strahan said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he has one request when they’re molding his face for a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: He wants his signature gap-toothed smile to be on display.

“You go in and they measure your head,” Strahan said. “I have to meet with the guy, because I think I want mine to be smiling.”

Most busts barely resemble the enshrinee and most of them are cast with a serious look. Michael was as serious as you can get on the field, but I’m sure no one would mind seeing his now world-famous smile lighting up the showcase in Canton.


It's funny how having an above average MLB completely changes the Giants D. Between Pierce and Beason we had garbage in the middle, and that's the kind of performance we got from the D - garbage. It's not so complicated to figure out. We need to go get us a MLB.


i know one thing if you look at qb compensation eli is over payed in relation to his performance.

unless you think leading the league in interceptions 3 times is a reason to celebrate, or if you give all the credit for 2 sb wins to one person and not to the  team as a whole as i still believe fb is considered a team game.

myself i think the 2 sb wins were more the result of the defense slowing down a prolific o since d wins champ in the long run.


Mind you Eli, who is making a cool $20 million, can be cut now with a $13 million cap savings. Not like that's going to happen...but next year if we cut him we'd save 17.5 million. This way, if Eli blows again this year, we can easily leverage him into a pay cut or simply release him (or trade him to the Browns for a pick).



When you say a TEAM that has STRUGGLED,

to stay under the Cap for a FEW Seasons....

Do you mean " BROKEN, Sal-Cap Management" ??? or

Sal-Cap Management that " SUCKs "


at the Combine Presser---

when REESE was asked about the Sal-Cap going up....

REESE Giggled like a Drunk SchoolGirl,

then said" It's hard to Maintain a High Caliber Roster with a Flat Cap,

and when your PICKing late and Last" .......What POOP !!!

in 2009 REESE had 2 extra Picks,

1 extra 2nd rounder Pick #45, &

1 extra 3rd rounder Pick #100,

thats, 5 PICKs !!! in the 1st, 100 Picks, then

in 2010, REESE had the 15th Draft slot with ALL 7 picks...

in 2011, REESE had the 19th Draft Slot,

with ALL 7 picks. +2 more 6th round Picks....

This is a WEALTH of DRAFT Picks....

ANY GM would be happy to Build a BALANCED ROSTER with...



a Franchise QB....... that was an IRONMAN,

REESE has never had to worry about the QB Position EVER !!!

............................REESE isn't a Top GM---

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart


Due to the increase in cap space, it is very important that Jerry Reese thinks outside the box more this off season than in the past. The Giants are not going to turn this franchise around solely through the draft and Reese must be more aggressive through free agency. This is not to say that he should over spend on certain free agents; he still needs to choose wisely and get the best value. With so many needs (OL,WR,RB,CB,TE,OLB) it will be interesting to see how Reese approaches free agency and which position/positions he targets. Once the smoke clears after free agency, hopefully; we will have a better idea how he will approach the draft.

John Fennelly
John Fennelly

@JamesWS  They would have to restructure his deal and they seem reluctant to do that. In the interim, he's killing their cap. Unless he can make another SB run....


I think the jury is still out on Reese until after we finish cycling through this roster (Eli and Snee are the last players from 2004/5 if I'm not mistaken).

The two Super Bowls are probably more thanks to TC than anyone else that isn't a player. But that doesn't mean Reese has exactly failed and I think one losing season in Reese's tenure isn't proof of anything. Let's see how he rebuilds this o-line and if the d-line pans out with Hankins and Moore who have shown promise.


@Michael Stewart  ...

7. And I forgot to mention... the more players Reese signs in Free Agency this year, the less draft choice compensation we'll be getting in the future in the event we lose players like Joseph and Nicks. So Reese is damned if he does, or damned if he doesn't.


@Michael Stewart  ....  Here's the problem with Reese and Free Agency...

1. It's usually a 1 yr contract, which doesn't lend itself to future depth and stability.

2. He's never "aggressive" in Free Agency, unless you mean aggressive as in "overpaying" for the likes of Rolle and Baas.

3. The Giants have too many holes in the roster thanks to 1 yr contracts to be "aggressive". 19 million won't go far.

4. The more he pays for his own Free Agents (like Joseph), the less he'll have for others at positions of greater need.

5. The Giants mindset (Reese) is just like the Mets of recent years. They only buy players from the scrap heap. Very rarely anyone of "name brand" recognition. If you pay for quality, you will usually get quality. But not the Giants or Mets. They target either mediocre or serviceable players, then are "surprised" when those players don't play as well as they hoped for. Rarely do they hit on anyone (exception, Stevie Brown). This is why the talent level on the team stinks.

6. The Giants organizational philosophy has never been about Free Agency. If you want an "outside-the-box" thinker, you need to find a GM who ACTUALLY goes outside the box. Look at the successes of the GMs from Ozzie Newsome to those from Seattle or San Francisco. Look at how they have rebuilt quickly and also had successful playoff runs. Reese is much better in the draft than in Free Agency, either because of organizational or personal philosophy, or both. And even in the drafts, he hasn't proven to be very good the last 2 or 3 years at the least. Sure he can hit on 1st or 2nd rounders (many GMs do that), but the rest of those drafts, almost entirely wasted on project players.

I'm not one to say Reese is inept and should be fired, but I think he really hasn't been held accountable for the failures either. Missing the playoffs in 4 out of the last 5 years is just not acceptable when the bar was raised (the standard was set) by winning two Super Bowl titles. I think Reese has been more lucky than good. He needs to display better cap management skills and stop gambling on project players and draft genuinely solid and accomplished FOOTBALL PLAYERS ready to contribute right away, rather than drafting athletes who don't have a lot of measurable successes at the college level. The film of these college players speak for themselves. I'm beginning to believe that Reese, Ross & Co put too much emphasis on the Combine results, and then reach for players in the Draft as a result. If you want "outside-the-box" thinking, they need to change their Scouting and Draft philosophy and start getting back to the fundamentals of letting the tape dictate the actual accomplishments of the players they are interested in.

Whether it's Free Agency or the NFL Draft, if the Giants don't take HUGE strides this year in improvement in these areas, there should be a massive shakeup in the Front Office. There can't be anymore excuses.


@John Fennelly  

NO !!!!!!

ELI is NOT KILLing the CAP !!!!!

this is 100% REESE's,

 Sal-Cap MANAGMENT !!!!

PISS POOR Planning & Risk taking by REESE...

ELI Has ZERO to do with the ACCOUNTing !!!

why can't you SEE that ???!!!???


Does he have a no trade clause? Seriously, if he underperforms again this year, I'm ready to move on. (And don't get me wrong, he's my favorite athlete of all time, but I'm a fan of the Giants winning games more than anything).

Next year Eli will be on the last year of his contract with merely 2-3 million guaranteed. We could probably trade him to another team and get some picks...and it would help us rebuild. It's going to have to happen eventually. Eli won't play forever.

John Fennelly
John Fennelly

@spider43 Compensation is no reason to stay away from free agency. Reese has always tried to make the team better whenever he got the chance. His mid-season moves and penchant for finding UDFAs has defrayed his poor drafts. 

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@billysuede @Michael Stewart Are you giving Reese the credit for that SB victory. Giants needed to win the last 2 games of the season to even have a chance at the playoffs. Luckily, Manning was outstanding the entire season with so many 4th quarter come from behind wins and he carried that success into the playoffs. Do me a favor, review all of Reese's draft selections since 2007 with every other GM during that same time span. Where do you think Reese will rank in regards to players he drafted and having the most success in the NFL compared to all the other NFL teams. After you research that, then you can try to defend Reese. .

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@spider43 That is my point when I referenced that Reese needs to think outside the box and not approach Free Agency like he has done in the past. Reese has had two bad drafts in a row (2012/2013) and I have stated that 2013 draft was his worse. Many fans give Reese credit for the Giants winning the Super Bowl in 2007 (which was his 1st year as GM). Giving Reese credit for 2007 SB win is like giving a rooster credit for the sun to rise (Al Gore). If Reese has another poor draft, it should be his last as GM of the Giants.


@John Fennelly...  You are correct about his results on Undrafted Free Agents, but he's not infallible. Herzlich has yet to pan out (unfortunately), and I was a big Herzlich fan. And yes, Reese shouldn't shy away from Free Agents just because we'd lose draft pick compensation. My point was more about the fact that philosophically, the team just doesn't dabble that much in Free Agency as a rule... only doing it to fill in gaps as opposed to trying to sign superior talent. That is not the Giants way. They tend to shop at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store, rather than on Saks 5th Avenue or even Macy's. I think the only reason Reese went after Beason last year is because "something" finally hit him over the head with a hammer and told him that he needed to address the LB corps NOW. The 0-6 start was a stark reminder at how important LB is to a defense. When the defense had to be on the field as much as they were because the ineptness of the offense, the defense needed bolstering in the worst way just to survive, let alone improve. Thus, enter Beason. If we don't keep Beason around, it was a waste of a 7th round pick.