GIANTS' 2012 FREE AGENCY TRACKING
"Firstly, I know you all want salary-cap information. And I try my best to
provide it. But as I always say, it's nearly impossible to relay entirely
Even when we have the numbers in front of us —and ProFootballTalk.com did
a nice job of giving them to us on Sunday — we don't have the full story. In
other words, it's nice to have a number (and PFT says it was $3.8 over as of
Friday at 4 p.m.) but we can't always be sure of all the factors that play
So the best I can do for you now is provide an estimate.
Let's use the starting point of the Giants' being $8-9 million over the cap a
few weeks ago. After that, they franchised punter Steve Weatherford, which means
another $2.6 million to add to that. So we're at roughly $10.6-11.6 million
over. Now, subtract the $6.75 million they saved on the Eli
Manning restructure and the $5 million they saved by cutting
Brandon Jacobs and you have then anywhere from $150,000 to $1.15 million
Please, please, please remember this is a very loose estimate. Again, we
don't have all of the financial information. Figure there to be a little more
wiggle room by 4 p.m. Tuesday when the league year begins.
Also, remember teams have three $1.5-million veteran exceptions to use
against future years' caps. So once again, having a number is great but it
doesn't give the full picture. Only the team has that because they know the
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Now that we have that settled — uh, sorta — here's a list of the Giants'
free agents as we're now a little more than a day before the 2012 league year
begins. I tried to provide some insight where I could, but a lot of this is
obviously guesswork at this point.
I'll continue to update and link to this entry as free agency progresses
so we have a full picture of the comings and goings for you.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
WR Mario Manningham: Will probably get a deal the Giants
just can't, and won't want to, match.
CB Terrell Thomas: Re-signed
CB Aaron Ross: For those who assumed he'd be a goner, hang
on for a bit because the Thomas situation complicates things. The Giants want
Ross back but it's a matter of financials here. Stay tuned because it'll be
interesting on the Thomas/Ross front.
DE Dave Tollefson: The Giants want him back, but as SI's
Peter King noted when he put him No.
41 on his list of top free agents, some have a higher value of him than the
Giants will probably offer. In fact, our Jorge Castillo tells me this morning
Tollefson is likely done with the Giants after five seasons in East
LB Chase Blackburn: Word is they want him back to continue
his comeback story but given the team's cap situation it'll likely be for a
minimum deal. Blackburn might've been at home until nearly December last season
but he closed the season strong and had an interception well downfield in the
Super Bowl. And after learning last season how quickly a career can be put on
hold, he's going to try cashing in on the free market.
S Deon Grant: Like Blackburn, he'll probably get a minimum
offer from the Giants, which is $925,000 for him so it's nothing to sneeze at.
In any event, figure Grant's situation to take a week, two or even more to begin
LB Jonathan Goff: Here's another guy the Giants probably
thought they'd have locked up by now. But like Thomas, he's coming off an ACL
injury so his value is a bit muddled. A good guess would be he's back with the
QB David Carr: Okay, so things didn't quite work out the way
he hoped at the beginning of his career. And after resetting the table in his
first stint with the Giants, things didn't work out with the Niners, either. But
he could be a backup quarterback for another 3-5 years and there's no shame in
that. The Giants want him back and this is a good spot for him.
WR Domenik Hixon: Re-signed
with the Giants.
P Steve Weatherford: Received
the franchise tag. Won't sign it right away, as he's still hopeful a
long-term deal can be worked out shortly.
RT Kareem McKenzie: A very good seven seasons with the team
but he's expected to head elsewhere. Unless he finds a very, very bare market,
he won't be back.
WR Devin Thomas: They've had talks with his agent about
bringing him back but so far nothing concrete.
OL Stacy Andrews: His brother Shawn tweeted over the weekend
is now blood-clot free after a
scare late last season that resulted in his being put on IR. That's great
news. Stacy will still be on Coumadin until May to make sure he doesn't have any
more issues. The Giants will probably welcome him back if he's willing to accept
a minimum deal.
OT Tony Ugoh: Signed when Andrews went on IR. No urgency
here for the Giants.
DT Rocky Bernard: The team released him last summer when he
declined a pay cut then brought him back for a minimum deal. He'll be 33 in
April, so maybe he'll just remain on the team's short list for down the
DT Jimmy Kennedy: After serving a four-game suspension for a
violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, he suited up
for only one of the last six regular-season games and was inactive for the
entire postseason. He probably won't be back.
CB/KR Will Blackmon: He's glad he came back from another ACL
issue. He got a ring out of it.
CB Michael Coe: Suffered a shoulder injury late in the
season that landed him on IR and made way for Blackmon to return.
CB Justin Tryon: Had a nice couple of games before breaking
his arm while somehow still managing to make the tackle. Figure the Giants to
try retaining him for depth.
WR Michael Clayton: He landed on IR in late November. A good
guy and a good locker room presence, his career might be over.
S Derrick Martin: Underrated special-teams presence will hit
the free-agent market. It's unclear right now if he'll find what he wants
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
CB Bruce Johnson: Re-signed with the Giants.
EXCLUSIVE-RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
TE Jake Ballard: Re-signed with the Giants.
TE Bear Pascoe: No news of a tender offer for him but that's
NOTE: This entry originally had Pascoe as an RFA and Johnson as an ERFA
because, well, that's what everybody including myself thought was going on. But
Vacchiano noted on Twitter, Johnson was the RFA while Pascoe is the ERFA.
Either way, everybody's coming back.
FREE AGENTS ADDED
None yet. That would be tampering. ...
* * * *
That's all for now. Stay tuned, though, because we have plenty on the way in
one of the more interesting parts of the NFL offseason. Should be fun this