As has been the case in years past, the New York Giants once again enter the offseason in financial ruins. Thanks in large part to his predecessor, new general manager Joe Schoen will be tasked with making a handful of tough decisions in the coming months in order to get the Giants below the salary cap.
According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, one of those decisions could include parting ways with starting safety Logan Ryan. Although depending on who you ask within the team’s front office, the decision may be less difficult than one would think.
“There are some people in the Giants’ front office that want to move on from the veteran safety, the Daily News has learned. But Ryan, who turned 31 on Feb. 9, is a critical leader and contributor,” Leonard reported on February 19. “No one has delivered Ryan any bad news yet, to The News’ knowledge. It wouldn’t hurt if new defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale went to bat for Ryan, though. He provides significant value on and off the field.”
The Finances Don’t Line Up
Ryan, who originally joined the Giants on a one-year deal in early September of 2020, was rewarded for his stellar play with a three-year, $31 million contract extension ($20 million guaranteed) on Christmas day of that year.
As highlighted by Leonard, Ryan is currently on the books for $9.25 million in 2022, yet $5.5 million of that salary has already been guaranteed — another $3 million becomes guaranteed on March 19.
Cutting Ryan this offseason wouldn’t necessarily move the needle for the Giants in a positive direction. Yes, they could save $3.75 million by cutting the veteran defensive back prior to the March 19 guarantee kicking in. However, they’d also be taking on nearly $11.5 million in dead money should they opt to do so, per Over The Cap. Designating Ryan as a post-June 1 cut decreases that dead money by approximately $3 million.
While Ryan’s days in East Rutherford may be numbered, New York would seemingly be better served to put a pin in making any decision on the safety’s future until after the 2022 campaign when the team has a potential out from his contract, via Spotrac. Following the conclusion of next season, Ryan’s salary is no longer guaranteed, placing his cap hit as a potential 2023 release at just $2.98 million.
Ryan is coming off an up-and-down 2021 showing. On one hand, the Rutgers product amassed a team-high 77 solo tackles (117 combined) in 15 games. On the other hand, he was picked on in coverage, surrendering a career-worst 106.4 pass rating when targeted. His 60.4 overall Pro Football Focus grade also marked a new personal worst for Ryan and was last among New York’s top-four defensive backs.
Still, with fellow safety Jabrill Peppers likely to walk in free agency, Ryan’s versatility and leadership traits make his presence a near necessity for an organization looking to alter the negative narrative that has engulfed Giants football of late.
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