The NFL's free agency period opens on Tuesday, with teams looking to find their missing pieces and get ready for the 2012 season. But, with no salary cap yet established, no one really knows how much space teams have to sign free agents. With no salary cap to reference, teams have begun trimming their budgets to make as much space as possible whenever the new salary cap is announced. One of those teams is the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, who restructured quarterback, and Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning's contract yesterday.
According to an Associated Press story, Manning's restructured contract provides the Giants with an additional $6.75 million in cap space. Using an anonymous source, because the Giants had not yet announced the deal, the report states that the team will guarantee $9 million of Manning's $10.75 million salary for next year.
That guarantee allows the Giants to spread the bulk of next year's salary over the final four years of Manning's contract. In the end, Manning's base salary for next year will have a cap number of $1.75 million.
The newly crowned Super Bowl champs are trying to keep as many of their free agents as possible. Currently tackle Kareem McKenzie, linebacker Chase Blackburn, cornerback Aaron Ross, wide receiver Mario Manningham, defensive end Dave Tollefson, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, cornerback Terrell Thomas, and safety Deon Grant will all become free agents on March 13.
The team also has to decide what to do with defensive end Osi Umenyiora ($3.975 million) and running back Brandon Jacobs ($4.4 million and a $500,000 roster bonus). Both players are big contributors to the team, but neither is a starter, and their contracts could make them cap casualties this year.
[Author's Note: This story is brought to you via last night's live thread. After I realized that within 48 hours, I had made 15 posts, and the Matty Award Voting Part 3 post was the only non-Peyton Manning post, I promised to not do a Peyton post this morning. Texascowpunk and BSerious72 seemed to want me to do a post about some other Manning instead. From their comments, we have this. Hope you enjoyed.]