Another day, another financially-driven move made by general manager Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants with the future in mind. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the team has converted $2.4 million of defensive lineman Leonard Williams’ salary into a bonus. The move creates $1.6 million in added cap space.
Williams signed a three-year contract worth $63 million with $45 million guaranteed this offseason. The former sixth-overall pick is coming off his most prolific campaign to date, tying for the sixth-most sacks in the NFC with 11.5.
His restructure is just the latest in a laundry list of moves Big Blue has made in recent days to free up cap space heading into the 2021 regular season. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, defensive captain Logan Ryan and cornerback Josh Jackson have all had their contracts altered over the past week.
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Giants Continue to Free Up Cap Space
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Ryan had the majority of his base salary converted into a signing bonus. The veteran defensive back opted to spread the signing bonus over the remaining years of his deal for “cap purposes.” A decision Ryan was more than happy patting himself on the back for.
Ryan re-upped on a three-year, $31 million deal with the Giants on Christmas day in 2020. He originally made his way to East Rutherford mere days before Week 1 of that season on a one-year, prove-it deal — which he most certainly did, compiling 94 tackles, nine passes defended, one interception and two fumble recoveries.
As for Ryan’s fellow defensive back, Josh Jackson, the former second-round pick agreed to a reworked deal on the final year of his rookie contract. Per ESPN’s Field Yates, Jackson will now receive a base salary of $920,000 — down from the previous $1.33 million he was set to make. The 25-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers in August in exchange for former starting cornerback Isaac Yiadom.
Moving on to the other side of the football, Yates reported that Sterling Shepard had “just under” $6 million of his base salary for the 2021 season converted into a signing bonus. The move freed up an additional $3.99 million in cap space. Shepard’s cap charge will now increase by “$1.995 million in 2022-23,” notes Yates.
Coach Judge Talks Fans in the Stands
New York’s opener vs. the Denver Broncos will mark Joe Judge’s first game coaching in front of the Giants fanbase in MetLife stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. While speaking with reporters, the second-year head coach broke down “the reward” of gameday and what he expects from the fans, via Giants.com:
Be themselves, that’s what I want. They buy a ticket and they have the right to be themselves. Coming out there, we’ve got to earn their respect. It’s obviously exciting for us to go out there and play in front of fans. That’s something we’ve missed now for over a year. Obviously, we had a taste of it in preseason. But to go out there in the first week with the stadium truly full with emotion and the adrenaline pumping, that’s something we missed.
As coaches and players, that’s something you really work for, your reward is gameday. You put in the work and the preparation so you can go out there and enjoy that three-to-four-hour period on Sunday afternoon. There’s going to be obviously a lot of energy. We’ve got to make sure that we control our emotions early in the game, especially when the adrenaline is pumping high. We’ve been working a lot this week on communication on all sides of the ball. We always do, but this week it’s definitely been heightened because we’re expecting more noise than we’ve had now in over a year. We’ve got to adapt to that circumstance and make sure we’re on the same page.
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