By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Giants will spend the offseason using the math operation of addition by subtraction.
GM Dave Gettleman, who weave his magic last season, will need to work some capology magic to keep his team intact.
Notably on the defensive side with Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. Their defense emerged as their calling card all season, and Gettleman needs to keep it intact.
There also is running back Wayne Gallman, who filled in admirably for Saquon Barkley.
Gettleman will need to perform some slight of hand trick to keep these intricate pieces together that helped form the base of a merging contender.
There also will be the April draft in which the Giants have been projected to seek an edge rusher or wide receiver with the 11th overall pick. They will have six picks overall,
Williams obviously is the team’s offseason centerpiece. His 11.5 sacks and leadership has raised the stakes for the Giants. His other impressive stats were 31 hurries, 18 quarterback hits and 62 total pressures last year.
Gettleman saved face and his job from his two draft-pick trade for Williams as well as the placement of a franchise tag.
This is his prime investment. Was last year a fluke for Williams or has he found his niche?
Now, he likely will need to ink the 26-year-old Williams to a moderate or long-term deal to avoid the imminent offers that will come his way. He made an estimated $17 million last season, and it will start with that figure to keep him a Giant.
Keeping the 26-year-old, former 2017 top pick Tomlinson and Williams will be worthy of a magician’s act. Tomlinson has grown into the role the Giants anticipated over the last two seasons.
The Giants currently are projected to have approximately $8 million in cap space available, roughly the price of a spacious Hamptons home.
By June, the Giants should have their issue rectified by releasing a handful of veterans. This also will depend if the league likely lowers the salary cap.
Gettleman will have some contract casualties with COVID opt-out tackle Nate Solder, who he once made the highest paid lineman, and wide receiver Golden Tate, who has become expendable. Some moves could gain the Giants as much as $48 million in cap funds.
If the Giants and Solder agree on his retirement, the Giants could gain $8 million from his $9.9 million deal instead of only $6 million if they released him around June 1.
Linebacker Kyler Frackrell, who proved to be a key signing last year, also could be on the hit list with the Giants’ linebacker depth and the return of Lorenzo Carter. Their depth can also force the release of fellow linebacker David Mayo.
Right tackle Cameron Fleming filled in admirably last season, but he will be expendable due to growth of rookie Matt Peart last year.
Gallman has proved to be a valuable insurance policy and could be integrated into the offense with Barkley, but he could choose to find a bigger payday on the market. With Barkley’s return, the Giants could decide to part ways with fullback Eli Penny.
In the next few weeks, the free-agent frenzy will begin, and Gettleman will be faced with some key decisions, the biggest one with Williams.
Last season, it was about creative addition without a burgeoning payroll, and Gettleman did the trick.
This year, he’ll face the challenge of a creative account, seeking to provide the Giants with their most productive return after the April draft.