Giants $120million star Accepts major pay cut in surprising move to Rivals

The New York Giants had many positions that need to be addressed this offseason, including offensive line, edge rusher, and receiver among them.

General manager Joe Schoen entered free agency with a plan to address offensive line and edge rusher with veteran help, and so far, that’s exactly what he’s done. In trading for veteran Brian Burns, the Giants instantly improved their defense, a move that Pro Football Focus’ Zoltan Buday lists as his most surprising move of free agency so far, given the contract the Giants gave to Burns following his acquisition.

Buday notes that Burns’ teammates on defense allowed Burns to be one of the main focal points of opposing offenses on game days. Now that Burns will be playing on a much more respectable defensive line, the veteran defender should thrive.

“I’ll give you a good example,’’ he said. “We were just talking about a player. I won’t name the position or anything. We were like, ‘Yeah, we’re guessing his market might be $2.5 [million],’ and I was like, ‘We can afford that! It’s only $2.5. We can actually afford it.’ ’’

It is the sweet sense of financial viability that hits anyone on a shopping expedition who suddenly realizes they have money to make purchases.

That was not the case for Schoen at this time last year, when he inherited a mess and went into free agency barely above the salary cap, realizing nearly any deal he could write needed to be bargain-basement, veteran-minimum and most likely for only one year.

A week ago, they owned the third-most cap space in the NFL at around $46 million.

tag for $10.1 million on Saquon Barkley lowered the cap space to around $15.5 million.

The Giants will go into free agency with more than that, though, after they make official the release of receiver Kenny Golladay.

If it is an outright cut, the Giants will gain $6.7 million on the 2023 salary cap (but take on $14.7 million in dead money).

If Golladay is designated as a post-June 1 cut, the cap savings will be $13.5 million (though it won’t be available until June 1), with dead money hits of $7.9 million in 2023 and $6.8 million in 2024.

Schoen has repeatedly warned against kicking the can down the road and is leaning toward the standard cut for Golladay.

“If we have the financial flexibility just to take our medicine and take on the dead money this year, that may be better,’’ Schoen said.

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