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Giants like Tyrann Mathieu but may not be able to afford him

Big Blue has used up most of its salary-cap space on Ogletree, Solder.

Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals on Dec.20,

Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals on Dec.20, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

It’s such a no-brainer that it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t get done. The Cardinals released safety Tyrann Mathieu on Wednesday, making him a free agent, and his defensive coordinator for the past three seasons in Arizona happens to be James Bettcher, the defensive coordinator of the Giants. It’s a honey (badger) of an opportunity.

But this isn’t fantasy football, and while the Giants may be an ideal schematic fit for Mathieu, their financial situation may not be in line with his desires.

“It sounds easy,” a source familiar with the Giants’ thinking regarding Mathieu told Newsday, “but he doesn’t come cheap.”

The Giants already have spent most of their salary-cap space on two big acquisitions, trading for linebacker Alec Ogletree and agreeing to terms with left tackle Nate Solder. They could create more space by converting some of Ogletree’s contract into a bonus this week or dropping some other veterans. It is doable, in other words, but would require sacrificing other plans.

The Giants have agreed to sign one of Bettcher’s former players, defensive end/linebacker Kareem Martin, who started 10 games in 2017 for the Cardinals, another source confirmed. Perhaps they’ll find room for another . . . who just happened to be one of the best on that team.

Stewart thinks he has ‘a lot left’

Jonathan Stewart, the former Panthers running back who signed a two-year deal with the Giants on Tuesday, insisted he is far from washed up despite turning 31 later this month.

“I’ve got a lot left,” he said on a Wednesday conference call. “The only reason why I would be playing is if I knew I could play, and I know I can play. Dave (Gettleman) knows I can play. There is a lot that I feel I want to prove.”

Giant steps

The Giants signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year deal. Williams did not play football in college — he was a track star — but has played 36 NFL games since 2012, including 19 for the Panthers since 2015. He missed most of 2016 and all of 2017 with a shoulder injury . . . The Giants used a second-round tender on restricted free-agent center Brett Jones and tendered exclusive-rights free-agent defensive tackle Robert Thomas.

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