ESPN's Field Yates did some research on Thursday that Giants fans might want to look away from.
Yates broke down the cap space that all 32 NFL teams currently possess, and well, the Giants finished last on that list.
Official cap space, teams 24-32- Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 5, 2019
24. PIT: $6,278,872
25. NE: $4,863,701
26. ARZ: $2,651,113
27. TB: $1,228,121
28. MIN: $1,211,327
29. LAR: $852,918
30. NO: $604,561
31. ATL: $493,564
32. NYG: $457,948
That minuscule number restricts the Giants from making any more moves this season. But how did the team get into this position to begin with? Thanks to OverTheCap.com, we know why.
The Giants have about $34.5 million in dead cap space, and most of that is due to the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. after he signed his massive five-year, $90 million extension. After he was traded to the Browns, the Giants had to eat $16 million in dead money for this season, accounting for almost half of their number.
Then, another trade with the Browns that sent LB Olivier Vernon over to Cleveland hit the Giants with $8 million in dead cap. He had two years remaining on his five-year, $85 million deal that former GM Jerry Reese splurged on during the offseason leading up to the 2016 season. So that's $24 million right there between two players.
After that, Gettleman cutting ties with the likes of Damon Harrison ($3.2 million dead cap), Patrick Omameh ($3 million) and Eli Apple ($2.3 million) raises the total more. The worst of those three is Omameh, though, as Gettleman signed him to a three-year deal at $15 million in March 2018 just to release him in November last season.
And finally, Reese's draft picks like Davis Webb, Darian Thompson, Avery Moss, and most recently, B.J. Goodson being traded to the Packers adds a little more to the total. Connor Barwin and Kyle Lauletta -- two Gettleman moves -- make the list as well.
So, while many might have thought this was just bad contracts coming from the Reese era, Vernon was the biggest impact here from his days in the GM chair. Gettleman's decision, along with Giants ownership, to make Beckham the highest-paid wide receiver in the game at the time just to trade him a season later was the biggest mistake.
But Giants fans shouldn't fret. This dead cap total is only for this season, and doesn't hinder what the Giants can do this upcoming offseason, where they're set up to have a pretty good chunk of money to sign some top free agents.
At the moment, the Giants have about $63 million in projected cap room to work with. Eli Manning's contract coming off the books is a big reason for that, and with Daniel Jones waiting in the wings, the Giants may not spend any of that cap on Manning at all to bring him back.
And the Giants could easily acquire more cap space if they do some contract cuts and restructuring. Veterans like Janoris Jenkins, Alec Ogletree, and Kareem Martin are among that list that could be impacted by Gettleman as he tries to create more room for himself to work with.
The moral of the story here is that the Giants can't continue to shell out these bad contracts, and if Gettleman wants to truly get the team back to its winning ways, making smart financial decisions definitely plays a major role. Beckham was a mistake, and Vernon -- a player many believed to be overpaid in the first place -- didn't live up to his deal as he fought to stay on the field.
Moving forward, it will be telling what Gettleman does with his cap space when the offseason comes around again. Hopefully some better deals find their way on the Giants' books.