The NY Giants’ roster is a high-priced mess: How to fix it in 2022

The NY Giants will have no easy decisions when it comes to creating cap space in 2022, potentially as a new general manager undertakes a full rebuild

The NY Giants might be the worst team in the NFL, have few young players who would be sought after commodities on the trade market, and one of the worst salary cap situations in the league in 2022.

Other than that, things are going just swimmingly in East Rutherford for the now 4-9 Giants.

Beyond guaranteeing a fifth consecutive losing season after losing to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, the NY Giants are in a world of hurt when it comes to the future construction of the roster. As things currently stand, the NY Giants have just $4.278 million in cap space in 2022, according to Spotrac.

In all likelihood, Dave Gettleman will not be the NY Giants’ general manager this offseason, but his successor will have a heavy lift to begin anew a rebuild that Gettleman misguidedly has handled since his arrival in 2018.

How NY Giants can create some cap space this offseason

Gettleman’s likely successor won’t have many easy decisions to make when it comes to creating spending flexibility, either.

“Sterling Shepard might be the most obvious [cap casualty],” former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry tells FanSided.

Beyond releasing Shepard, which would create $8.5 million in cap space if he is cut after June 1 but would also trigger a $3.995 million dead-money charge.

Shepard, currently the longest-tenured NY Giants player, might make the most financial sense to be released, especially when factoring in his lengthy injury history.

However, the fact that Kenny Golladay has struggled to stay on the field — missing four games due to injury, and has been a major disappointment when healthy might complicate the calculous when it comes to Shepard’s future.

Likewise, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has failed to live up to his contract, but even moving on from Gettleman’s high-priced free agent signing on defense makes little dent in the NY Giants’ salary cap mess.

“Adoree’s $9.5 million 2022 base salary was fully-guaranteed at signing,” Corry points out.

Presuming the NY Giants retain Jackson but move on from Shepard there might just be one more player who would make real sense and make a real impact by releasing is veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph.

The NY Giants signed Rudolph to a two-year contract worth $12 million last March, but since putting pen to paper, the 32-year-old has caught just 21 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown.

Releasing Rudolph would create $7 million in cap space, while triggering a $2.25 million dead-money charge.

By simply releasing Shepard and Rudolph, the NY Giants would wind up with approximately $19.78 million in cap space, which would currently rank 22nd in the NFL. But, the Giants would also need to allocate upwards of $11.8 million towards their pair of potentially top-10 picks in the NFL Draft.

Now, the NY Giants can also create $25.8 million in cap space by also releasing cornerback James Bradberry ($12.1 million), inside linebacker Blake Martinez ($8.5 million), punter Riley Dixon ($3.25 million), and running back DeVontae Booker ($2 million), but those players would also need to be replaced.

Even with all of those moves, and factoring in having to possibly pay a pair of top-10 draft picks, the NY Giants would be left with approximately $33.78 million in cap space, the 16th most in the NFL — before factoring in moves other teams will be making to create their own spending flexibility.

There are certainly options for the NY Giants to begin a rebuild, but will likely still be near the bottom in terms of free agent spending this coming offseason and will need to hit on the draft over the next multiple years to reconstruct a roster capable of making a legitimate push for a return to the postseason.