This year, they may just have to do it again. According to our friends at Pro Football Talk, the Giants are only $1.06 million under the cap right now. This does not include any free agents who are coming off the books on March 13.
The Giants have 22 (yes, twenty-two) players who will become UFAs next month. That's quite a high number for a team that just won the Super Bowl. Many are backup players, but some are key contributors: OT Kareem McKenzie, WR Mario Manningham, CB Aaron Ross, P Steve Weatherford, CB Terrell Thomas, S Deon Grant, TE Bear Pascoe and DE Dave Tollefson.
The team will have some serious decisions to make. That is something GM Jerry Reese is prepared for. He's drafted well and has had to pay for it. Unlike the have-nots of the league such as Jacksonville, who are nearly $32 million under the cap and have a dozen holes to fill.
"It looks like [the salary cap] is going to be pretty flat. It could be a little bit more than it was this time, but it could be a little bit less," Reese said this week. "I think we can work off of the same number we worked off of last year and I think we’ll be pretty close either way. It will be pretty flat, I think."
By flat, he means the number won't fluctuate much from the $120 million the NFL installed after last year's labor settlement. PFT reports that teams can creatively maneuver in and around the cap through a simple loophole:
As the NFL readjusts to the problems that arise from spending that once again will be approaching the annual salary cap, there’s an important provision of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that needs to be highlighted.This would surely help the Giants (and other teams) keep one or two players who under normal circumstances would have to be let go. The fun begins March 5th when teams are required to submit the names of player they wish to designate franchise tags to. Stay tuned.
Under Article 13, Section 6(b)(v) of the CBA, each team may carry over any remaining cap room from one year to the next by submitting written notice, signed by the owner of the team, to the league office no later than 14 days before the start of the next league year. The written notice must indicate the maximum amount of cap room that the team wishes to shift from one cap year to the next.