The Giants are more likely to trade for additional draft picks given their salary cap situation
John Schmeelk: Fact- There are five ways to clear salary cap space: contract renegotiations, pay cuts, contract extensions, outright releases, and trades. In order to get under the salary cap, the Giants will probably have to move on from a player that will be valued by another team around the league to the point that they would be willing to trade a draft pick to acquire them. They should be able to use those good players with larger contracts to not only clear cap space, but also to acquire additional draft picks.
Dan Solomone: Fact – On Tuesday, Joe Schoen said he is “open for business” – take this to mean trading player for players, players for picks, picks for players, you name it. “We’re in a situation where, unfortunately, we have to get under the salary cap and we’re not in very good salary cap health,” he said Tuesday at the combine. “I’m not going to say yes to every deal, but I’m definitely going to listen and I’ll be open to the situations that are best for the New York Giants.”
Lance Medow: Fact- Right now, the Giants have nine picks in the upcoming draft, which is a nice volume when you don’t have much salary cap flexibility. It’s certainly possible they could add more through trades, but you also have to take into consideration that it’s unlikely 10 or 11 picks would make the final 53-man roster because of the numbers game. You would think if they make a trade or two to acquire more selections, the picks would be for 2023.
Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants have already begun to shed salary with the releases of Booker and Rudolph, and Schoen has not made it a secret that there are more to come. The team needs to create cap space, and Schoen could decide to trade some veteran players to reach his goal from him. There are a few pricey players on the roster who could fetch some solid draft capital in the middle rounds of this year’s draft. You wouldn’t expect any trades that end with the Giants acquiring another first- or even a second-round pick, but they will go into the draft with more than nine picks.
Fortifying the offensive line is the primary focus for the Giants heading into the draft and free agency
John Schmeelk: Fact- The Giants might only have one returning starting offensive lineman since last season – Andrew Thomas. They need to fill four spots with players who are not liabilities and can be capable starters. It doesn’t have to come in the first round, but players must be added in free agency and the draft to fill out the line and give Daniel Jones a chance to succeed.
Dan Salomone: Fiction – On a micro level, that may be the case. But on a macro level, it’s about getting the salary cap under control. Schoen knew that he was the biggest challenge when he took over, and that has been the underlying focus throughout his decision-making process. “Back to my introductory press conference, we want to be able to be competitive today and also build for tomorrow,” he said this week. “I think if we’re able to do this the right way, I think there’s a real possibility that we’re going to be able to do that.” His primary focus on him is also the biggest challenge.
Lance Medow: Fact- Most of the top offenses in the NFL in 2021 were a product of consistent and reliable play in the trenches. You can have all the talent in the world on the offensive side of the ball but their production will be limited if your house isn’t in order up front. Putting production aside, from a contractual standpoint, the Giants need to address the offensive line. Three of their 2021 starters (Nate Solder, Will Hernandez and Billy Price) are free agents and Matt Peart’s status for the upcoming season is up in the air due to a torn ACL he suffered in Week 16.
Matt Citak: Fact – This one is easy. The O-line has been the Giants’ biggest area of concern for several years, and as the roster currently stands, it remains the top priority. Of last year’s linemen who started 13 or more games, Andrew Thomas is the only player returning. Although the team hopes Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux return, both players suffered year-ending injuries at the beginning of the season and are not guaranteed to come back ready for the start of this season. The Giants barely have any more linemen even on the roster outside of those three players. The 2022 season is a crucial one for quarterback Daniel Jones, and the best chance he has of succeeding is with solid protection in front of him.