<
>

Looking at potential Giants cap cuts

2/2/2015

The day after the Super Bowl is the first day on which NFL teams are allowed to terminate veteran contracts -- an ugly bit of league business that helps clear salary-cap room for the work these teams need to do to get younger and better. Here's a look at a few New York Giants players who could fall victim this offseason.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka. His $7.45 million cap number is the fourth-highest on the team, and his production simply doesn't justify it. He turns 32 in March, and if the Giants want him back at all (and they might, considering his nine years of service and two Super Bowl rings), he'd have to take a major pay cut. Kiwanuka's likely release would save the Giants $4.825 million against this year's cap. He took a pay cut last year and has restructured a couple of times over the years to help the team. But the bill is due now, and in the NFL, it's the player who pays it, not the team.

LB Jon Beason. One of last year's big free-agent signings could be one of this year's cuts. The fact that Beason has $900,000 of his 2015 salary fully guaranteed could help him because it's possible the Giants don't want to eat that money. But after a year lost to injury, Beason's $7.367 million cap hit is too heavy. And with another year on the deal after this one, he'll surely be asked to take a pay cut and/or drastically alter his contract. Releasing him would save the Giants more than $3.5 million against the cap, even with the guaranteed money.

DT Cullen Jenkins. He just turned 34 and has one year left on his deal with a $2.917 million cap number. The Giants would save $2.25 million against the cap if they cut him, though they're not exactly deep at his position and might need to spent at least that much to replace him.

C J.D. Walton. One year left on his two-year deal and a cap hit of $3.625 million. They save $3 million if they cut him, and their long-term plan at center is 2014 second-round pick Weston Richburg.

P Steve Weatherford. A Super Bowl XLVI hero and international fitness celebrity, Weatherford did not have his best year in 2014. Like Kiwanuka, he took a pay cut last year and likely will be asked to do so again if he wants to stay. His cap number is over $3 million, and he has two years left on his deal at about $3.1 million per season.