The signing of fullback John Connor to replace Henry Hynoski, lost for the season after being placed on reserve/injured, caused the Giants to be pushed tight against the salary cap.
According to NFPLA records the New York Giants had approximately $60,000 in salary cap space heading into week four action. NFL rules prohibit a team from being over the salary cap at any point in time during a season so the team would be forced to make space in a hurry.
The Giants turned to a familiar player to obtain the space needed. In fact the team has used this player’s contract four separate times since 2011 to gain cap space. Salary from guard Chris Snee’s contract, which ends in 2014 with Snee holding a player option, was once again converted into signing bonus and prorated, spread out over the life of the contract.
His base or season salary was reduced $2.5 million and paid in full upon signing the restructured deal instead of in 17 weekly increments throughout the season. Under NFL salary rules signing bonuses are spread over the life of a contract up to a maximum of five years including the year which the bonus is paid. Prorating a bonus is simply a different way of accounting for the same money. Snee’s signing bonus gets prorated or spread over the 2013-14 seasons counting $1.25 million in each instead of counting $2.5 million entirely in the 2013 season if the contract had not been altered.
By changing Snee’s contract the team saves $1.25 million this season now giving the Giants $1.31 million in available space. This is the second time within a month the Giants had used the same maneuver, converting $2.5 million in salary into signing bonus, in Snee’s contract to creating a total of $2.5 million 2013 cap space from restructurings this year.
In 2011 the Giants, in dire need of cap relief, converted $2 million of Snee’s salary into signing bonus pushing $500,000 into 2012, 13 and 14 saving $1.5 million that season. In 2012 the team converted $4.5 million of his salary into signing bonus pushing $1.5 million into 2013-14 saving $3 million that year.
The downside to all this restructuring is by pushing money forward in Snee’s contract so often he will count $11.75 million on the 2014 cap $7.2 million base salary, $4.5 million in prorated bonuses and a $50,000 workout bonus with a cap charge of $4.5 million even if Snee does not play for the Giants next year.
The $4.5 million in prorated money within the 2014 portion of Snee’s contract is money already paid but pushed off into that year to create space for earlier years, so the team cannot eliminate this money off the books. Snee’s 2014 base salary $7.2 million and his $50,000 workout bonus would be saved if the Giants choose to release him or if Snee doesn’t pick up his 2014 contract option.
This very informative article was written by our friend Dennis Agapito