If Jason Pierre-Paul doesn't sign a long-term contract before the start of the free-agent signing period on March 9, he will count for approximately $17 million against the New York Giants' salary cap. That would be more than 10 percent of the projected $168 million cap, and the second-highest number on the team.
It would also mean the Giants will have $33 million in cap space (or about 20 percent of the projected cap) tied up in their two starting defensive ends, and a total of about $44 million (26 percent) tied up in three-fourths of their defensive line -- with the fourth member (defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins) looking to cash in for himself when free agency starts.
The Giants are still projected to have around $15-17 million to spend in free agency, assuming the cap is set at $168 million. They can also clear more room by cutting some players in the next 10 days or restructuring some of their biggest deals.
For now, though, here are the 10 highest salary cap numbers for players on the Giants' roster. Not surprisingly, the franchise quarterback is the highest. After that, defensive players occupy the next five spots.
- QB Eli Manning, $19.7 million
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul, $17 million**
- DE Olivier Vernon, $16 million
- CB Janoris Jenkins, $15 million
- DT Damon Harrison, $10.6 million
- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, $9 million
- LG Justin Pugh, $8.8 million
- RB Shane Vereen, $4.9 million
- LB J.T. Thomas, $4 million
- LT Ereck Flowers, $3.9 million
**Approximate number for "franchise tag," which has not yet been officially set.
Sources: NFLPA records, via various NFL sources