As far as I can tell, the only players who have $5+ cap hits next season that are good candidates to release are Boley and Diehl.
Some of the other ones like Rolle would cost the giants quite a bit of cap space to release, but if they instead wait it out, they have huge cap hits the following year. So they may have no choice.
If signing bonuses are 100% paid upfront, technically no more money is owed to the player when he's cut from the team before the upcoming season's roster bonus options take into effect. Slip gave a good explanation of how signing bonuses affect the salary cap, which works a bit differently than what a player is actually being paid per year.
Problem is cutting any of them would give the giants a cap penalty.
And cutting them with years left on their contract means all that signing bonus money gets accelerated.
Thats why Boley, being in the last year of his contract, is a better cut, because there is no money to accelerate. Just the signing bonus he has hits the cap, while his entire base salary is eliminated from the cap.
When you have the highest paid defense,but not even close to the best....there's not much someone could argue to justify that...
Some very difficult decisions for Reese and company. Don't know how creative they will be but is sure will be interesting to watch.