Thursday, March 7, 2013
Giants' Webster takes pay cut to stay
By Dan Graziano
The New York Giants are clearing some salary-cap room in advance of free agency, and one of the ways they're doing it is with the help of cornerback Corey Webster. NFL Network reports that Webster has agreed to a 2013 pay cut, reducing his salary from $7.25 million to $4 million. The move will save the Giants about $3 million in cap room as they wrestle with decisions on several of their own unrestricted free agents, including safety Kenny Phillips, tight end Martellus Bennett and guard Kevin Boothe. They're also working on new, long-term deals for restricted free-agent wide receiver Victor Cruz and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, whose contract expires at the end of 2013.
So they need the cap room, and after a disappointing 2012 season, Webster was likely told he'd have to take a pay cut or be released. His choosing the former means he projects as one of the team's starting cornerbacks in 2013 along with Prince Amukamara. Webster struggled in 2012, but he was excellent in 2011 as he helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl title. So I don't think they believe he's done. He's just not worth $7.25 million. And he was probably wise to agree rather than try his luck on the open market after a much-publicized down year.
Earlier in the day, the news broke that the Giants had agreed to a restructured contract with center David Baas that isn't a pay cut but will save them about $2 million in cap room. The Giants sit about $9 million under the cap at this point, but I wouldn't get too fired up about their chances of making a big free-agent splash early next week. Much of that cap room will be spent on addressing their own internal needs, and my hunch is that the wide receivers are going to eat up a chunk of it.