As we discussed in today's free-agency primer, the New York Giants are the one team in our division that projects to be over the salary cap. One way around this is to get veterans like Brandon Jacobs to take big pay cuts or release them. But the more desirable way to do this is to restructure some of their bigger contracts. So it is that the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning have agreed on a contract restructure that will save them $6.75 million against this year's cap, according to Mike Garafolo:
Per NFL Players Association records, the Giants guaranteed $9 million of Manning's $10.75-million base salary for the 2012 season, which allows the team to spread the cap hit over the remaining four years of his contract. Manning's new base salary is $1.75 million.
Manning's 2012 cap number shrunk from $16.35 million to $9.6 million, saving the Giants $6.75 million on this year's cap.
The tradeoff is that Manning's cap number goes up in future years, but as Mike points out, the new TV deals that will take effect in 2014 should raise the cap significantly. As for this year, $6.75 million isn't enough of a savings to get the Giants under the cap according to our projections. (John Clayton wrote a few weeks ago that they projected to be $7.25 million over.) But it gets them a heck of a lot closer, and now, if they need to ask Jacobs to take a cut, it might not have to be as big a cut.