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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Eli Manning restructures contract

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Giants had some work to do with their salary cap situation, and general manager Jerry Reese has freed up nearly $7 million of cap space by restructuring Eli Manning's contract.

According to NFL Players Association records, Manning's base salary is now $1.75 million, down from $10.75 million. The Giants, who were at $9 million over the cap at one point last month, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, created approximately $6.75 million in cap space with the Manning move, multiple media reports said.

The franchise quarterback still will get all of the $10.75 million, with $9 million of it being paid up front and guaranteed, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Reese had said at the NFL scouting combine last month that he had some work to do to free up cap space. Manning's 2012 cap number counts for $9.6 million now, down from $16.35 million, the New York Daily News reported.

The Giants still have some other moves to make and could restructure more contracts, such as re-working Brandon Jacobs' deal. He is due a $500,000 roster bonus next week and an additional $4.4 million this season. The Giants will either restructure his contract or release the running back.

The Giants have 20 unrestricted free agents, including Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham, who is expected to depart via free agency.

However, the Giants have re-signed tight end Jake Ballard and cornerback Bruce Johnson, according to NFLPA records. Both were exclusive-rights free agents.

Ballard is rehabbing from knee surgery after the tight end tore his ACL during the Super Bowl. Johnson is making his way back from a torn Achilles suffered during the 2011 preseason.

The Giants also have re-signed wide receiver Domenik Hixon, who was an unrestricted free agent.