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Giants currently rank 31st in effective salary cap space

Following the initial free agency waves, the New York Giants currently rank 31st in effective salary cap space, according to Over the Cap (OTC).

At the moment, OTC has the Giants with $8.73 million in available cap space. Although that figure doesn’t quite rank second to last, it is in the bottom 10 of the NFL.

Effective salary cap space is what the Giants actually have available to spend if they want to continue adding to their roster. OTC has that figure for the Giants at $2.08 million, only ahead of the Atlanta Falcons.

The difference between OTC’s cap space and effective cap space figures is that the effective cap space takes into account the cap space that is going to be needed to sign the incoming draft class and the final construction of the 53-man roster. Whereas the cap space number is what the Giants have available right now on paper.

However, along with needing cap space for the incoming draft class, the Giants are going to need space to put together a practice squad, as well as having in-season reserves available so they can make any additions and for game-day elevations.

None of this, of course, includes any other free-agent additions that could still be made this offseason. Additional cap space is also going to be required to make those moves.

So it’s safe to say that even with the recent restructure of Dexter Lawrence’s contract, GM Joe Schoen is still going to need to do some salary cap maneuvering this offseason.

In addition to Lawrence, two other contract restructure candidates that the Giants have are Andrew Thomas and Bobby Okereke.

Thomas currently has the second-largest cap hit on the team at $23.26 million. This includes a base salary of $14.17 million, with that entire amount counting towards the current year’s salary cap.

However, if the Giants were to convert a portion of that base salary to a signing bonus, then that dollar amount can be pro-rated over the life of the contract, which for Thomas, goes through the 2029 season, thus lowering the 2024 cap hit.

In Okereke’s case, his cap hit of $11.21 million is the sixth-largest on the team this season and comes with a base salary of $7.9 million that could be reworked and two additional contract years to push cap charges towards.

If Schoen were to throw salary cap caution to the wind and max restructure both of these contracts, meaning that he squeezed every bit of 2024 cap space that he could out of those deals, OTC projects that $14.84 million in cap space could be saved on Thomas’ contract and $5.5 million with Okereke.

My guess is that Schoen won’t rework those contracts to that extent, but it goes to show the opportunity that is available, and these are two likely contracts to be restructured, given the current cap hits and that they both have multiple years remaining.

Of course, when discussing contract restructures, it’s important to keep in mind that any cap space created today can reduce financial flexibility in future years. At some point, like interest on a credit card, the bill comes due.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire