A Giant salary cap dilemma

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
5:15
PM ET
Our man John Clayton has the salary cap figures for teams around the NFL and he’s reporting that the Giants will be $11.34 million (does not include restricted free-agent tenders) over the projected cap of $120 million. There's also a $3 million exemption.

The Giants will have some maneuvering to do in order re-sign many of their own expected free agents such as Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Mathias Kiwanuka and Kevin Boss.

One move that figures to be a major factor will be the Giants’ decision with Shawn Andrews. They have 30 days after the start of the league year to decide whether to pay the offensive lineman a $3.5 million roster bonus.

According to Clayton, the Giants can slice $7.333 million by releasing Andrews.

Andrews gives the Giants some much-needed depth on the offensive line and could potentially start at left tackle if left guard Rich Seubert isn’t ready at the start of the season after having major knee surgery back in January.

Andrews would give the Giants the flexibility to move David Diehl to left guard but he did have to deal with some back issues last season. When healthy, Andrews was effective for the Giants.

The salary cap situation also gives you an idea of what the Giants are facing with Osi Umenyiora -- who wants a new deal -- and Barry Cofield, who is expected to become an unrestricted free agent and is looking for a lucrative contract. And if they re-sign Bradshaw to a bigger deal, what impact will that have on Brandon Jacobs' contract, which has $4.65 million due this season.

So it remains to be seen what Jerry Reese and his crew will do to create cap space but thanks to Professor Clayton, we may have an idea of one of their biggest moves.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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