New York Giants: Grading the returning free agent contracts

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New York Giants

New York Giants (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Flush with cap space this offseason, the New York Giants needed to spend wisely to fill a roster full of holes, which includes returning free-agent deals.

After finishing the 2019 season with a dismal 4-12 record, securing the worst record in the National Football League over the past three seasons, it was evident that the New York Giants had a plethora of holes on their roster that were in dire need of an upgrade.

The Giants were in an admirable position to significantly upgrade their team this offseason, as they had nearly $80 million in salary-cap space and have nine picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. As a result, they had a prime opportunity to significantly upgrade their team by signing free agents to smart contracts and subsequently drafting players to fill any remaining holes.

To clear cap space, the New York Giants cut Alec Ogletree, Kareem Martin, Scott Simonson, and George Asafo-Adjei. Additionally, they declined the options of Antoine Bethea and Jon Halapio and Rhett Ellison announced his retirement, all of which provided additional cap space.

The Giants have been one of the busiest teams this free-agent period signing four returning players to new contracts, placing a second-round tenure on Aldrick Rosas, placing the franchise tag designation on Leonard Williams and signing seven new players to the roster.

After extending, re-signing, franchising and signing all of these players, the New York Giants are projected by to have just under $3.5 million remaining when factoring in the over $12 million it will take to sign their 2020 draft picks and the almost $11 million that is still being allocated to dead cap space. As a result, they are almost $5 million under the self-imposed $20 million that general manager Dave Gettleman stated that he wanted to have when the free agency period was over.

Gettleman and the Giants opted to front-load the majority of the contracts that they signed this offseason, which puts a lot of the financial burden on the 2020 salary cap but allows a great deal of flexibility in years to come. In addition, they stayed clear of signing any long term deals that could prove to be a financial boon on the team moving forward.

With that in mind, let’s break down the players that the GMEN will be returning from last year’s roster and rate how it impacts the team next year and beyond.

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