It’s almost time for spring cleaning at the Giants.
That annual chore of sorting through the roster, determining which players probably are not worth the contracts they currently are playing under and then parting ways with them will take place all around the league. It’s a way to clear salary-cap space for the spending sprees that will begin with free agency on March 14.
For the Giants, though, there is a wrinkle. This year, the people making the decisions on the players’ futures with the team are completely different from the ones who made the decisions to bring them aboard. New general manager Dave Gettleman and new head coach Pat Shurmur have been grinding away for the past month, watching tape and trying to determine who stays and who goes.
The Giants have about $24.5 million in salary-cap space for 2018. To add to that amount, they’ll likely part ways with a few players who have been contributors to the Giants during the past few seasons.
The Giants won’t have to make any deeply emotional decisions similar to the one in which they released the super-popular Victor Cruz a year ago, saying goodbye to a player who literally grew up as a Giant. But here are some players who might be nervously waiting by their telephone to see how much longer they’ll be calling themselves Giants:
The cornerback has one year left on his contract with the Giants, and if they cut him, the team will save $6.5 million on the salary cap. That’s a significant savings in exchange for a player who wasn’t starting at outside cornerback. DRC does, however, bring other elements to the team. He’s a respected leader, has versatility (he can play in the slot and, after dabbling at safety in 2017, said he would not be opposed to making a more regular switch to that position), and still wants to play. He’ll turn 32 in April.
Marshall never really found his stride in the Giants’ offense in 2017. He was one of the wide receivers lost for the season after Week 5. He signed a two-year deal last offeason, and if the Giants decide to move on from him, it’ll save them just over $5.15 million in cap space. Marshall, 33 and coming off surgery to his ankle and toe, did not sound as if he would entertain a pay cut when he spoke toward the end of the regular season. The Giants have to decide if it’s worth keeping him around, even if it’s just through training camp to see if there is anything left in him.
He has two years left on his contract, but with the 30-year-old coming off surgery and a few less-than-productive seasons as a kickoff and punt returner (and essentially being a non-factor as a receiver), it is difficult to see the Giants hanging on to him. The potential salary-cap savings by cutting him is $2.45 million. That’s not a whole lot, but it’s probably a chunk better used in other areas.