The most impactful consequence of Jason Pierre-Paul’s new contract is the extra cap space it is expected to free for Jerry Reese to continue improving Big Blue this offseason.
The Giants’ GM has signed free agents receiver Brandon Marshall, tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison, and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker. He has re-signed right guard John Jerry, running back Orleans Darkwa and backup QB Josh Johnson, and is on the verge of signing ex-Jet QB Geno Smith Monday pending a physical.
And thanks to Friday’s deal with JPP, Reese likely is not done. Because unofficial estimates have Pierre-Paul’s 2017 cap hit coming in low enough to save Reese around $9.4 million against the cap immediately.
That would directly aid Reese and assistant GM Kevin Abrams in potentially re-signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and/or linebacker Keenan Robinson, as well as possibly plucking a veteran from the free agent running back field.
For as of Saturday afternoon, without Friday’s activity fully and officially logged, the NFLPA database listed the Giants with just $3.9 million of cap space. And remember, they will need millions available to sign their rookies after April’s draft, as well.
So here’s how JPP’s deal helps create room: when Reese placed the franchise tag on Pierre-Paul in late February, the $16.934 million salary owed defensive ends under the tag in 2017 immediately went against the Giants’ cap. And the only way for Reese to keep JPP and also reduce that number was to strike a long-term contract that included bonuses and spread the money out over more years.
Pierre-Paul’s four-year, $62 million deal with $40 million guaranteed, therefore, might average $15.5 million per season based on the simple math. But according to unofficial estimates – since Pierre-Paul’s full contract has not yet come out – his 2017 cap number could come in as low as $7.5 million, which would save the Giants about $9.4 million on this year’s budget ($16.934 million – $7.5 million = $9.434 million).
Spotrac, one of the most reliable NFL contract databases, reached that conclusion off reports such as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sharing that JPP’s deal included a $20 million signing bonus, and that he will earn $34 million within 11 months and $49.5 million over the first three years.
And with more money to spend, if Reese has made anything clear the past two offseasons, it’s that he plans to spend it. Eli Manning’s window to win Super Bowl number three won’t stay open forever. Reese made splash signings of Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon last year, and now he seems determined to plug all remaining holes.
And he still has a few to which he must attend.
Giants undrafted rookie free safety Andrew Adams and second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart were among the 2016 league leaders in performance-based pay, according to figures released by the NFL. Adams, 24, out of Connecticut, collected $316,310.42, the 10th most of any NFL player. Hart, 22, ranked 25th at $285,288.92 and also claimed the 22nd-best bonus in veteran performance-based compensation ($75,784.04).
All told, Hart’s combined total ($361,072.96) ranked 19th among all NFL players. For perspective, Falcons third-year safety Ricardo Allen, 25, made the most combined money by these measures at $429,719.92.
Players on each NFL team compete for their club’s share of performance-based pay, which is calculated by dividing regular season playing time by adjusted regular season compensation and comparing that so-called “player index” to their teammates’ tallies. Basically, the lower the base salary and higher the playing time, the greater the bonus will be.
Adams started 13 games but was curiously benched for the Giants’ Wild Card playoff game in Green Bay due to missed tackles in a Week 17 win in Washington. This happened despite Adams playing a pivotal role in two Aaron Rodgers interceptions against the Giants in Week 5. With Leon Hall playing free safety in the Wild Card round, the Giants lost, 38-13, to the Packers.
Hart started 13 games at right tackle after Week 1 starter Marshall Newhouse was injured in Week 2 against the Saints. But Hart was a surprise Week 17 scratch with an arm injury and also did not start in Green Bay.
Send a Letter to the Editor