Big Blue View Mailbag: Redeeming Choices, Dead Money, More

No games for a few months, but the NFL never stops. In many ways, the offseason is just as interesting as the regular season. Let’s go some off season New York Giants Questions in the new Big Blue View Mailbag.

ctscan123 asks: I think we’re going to lose Lorenzo Carter, Evan Ingram, and Gabriel Peppers to free agency. Any sense of what it might be worth as far as selection companies go? I mean in addition to the pair of premium photos, we’ll get Nate Solder and Mike Glennon of course.

Ed says: CT, first of all, let’s make it clear that any free agents the Giants lose this season won’t help them earn their redemption choices in 2022 NFL Draft. Those were determined outside last season. The only Giants losing player who qualified as a free compensating factor (CFA) was Dalvin Tomlinson, and the additions of Kenny Golladay and Devontae Booker canceled that.

Any Free Agents who qualify as Financial Financial Analysts in this course will likely qualify the Giants to pick companies in 2023. Based on how many CFA Giants have signed up this season.

Annually Over The Cap projects these forecasts, and the 2023 CFA forecast has not yet been announced. Here is an explanation for Compensatory Choice Methodology. I don’t want to speculate and say “Ingram will determine the selection of round X,” etc. I’ll leave that to the people at OTC who really understand the formula and have done this kind of calculation for years.

Based on my reading, using APY (average per year of contract signed), playing time and other factors taken into account, I think Engram will score the highest selection of companies in a row.


Dimitri asks: Eli Apple. His recruitment by the Giants bothered me back then, and it bothers me now. Eli Apple wasn’t worthy of the first-round pick, especially his high pick in the first round. I have had access. Giants would have had Laremy Tunsil, 2x Pro Bowler; Tunsil would have been a robbery at the place where the giants forged an apple. I know the Giants had another option in mind, and the Bears jumped in front of them to choose which player the Giants wanted. I know the Giants want clean living players, but they put up with Lawrence Taylor’s off-field habits, right? That’s a good job, isn’t it? Question: Will the new administration be able to take over Tonsel? Should they be able to? I’m not saying the Giants should be the haven for all the bad boys in the NFL. Ask if they can take a steal when it’s in the draft. It seemed to me that the Giants could have removed any hesitation about drafting Tunsil with a phone call and a contract that would severely punish him for walking away from good behavior.

Ed says: Dimitri, do you still want to talk about Larmy Tuncel? This has been a lot of system changes since before, I’m not sure what the significance of that is, but here it goes.

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Co-owner Jon Mara explained as recently as last month that the general manager and head coach don’t make decisions about players like that – they do. Mara is fully aware of the image his team portrays and her place in the NFL. Tonsil’s thing is something he will never agree to. It was basically brought up when the draft started. There was really no time to investigate, talk to the young man, dismiss what happened, how it happened, and gather the information you wanted to make an intelligent and informed decision. Mara had never taken such a risk so quickly.

I know some will point to ex-football player Josh Brown, and Mara knows he’s been pretty slow to act there. He’s loyal to the fault, and I’m sure he played a part there.

For LT, come on! That was almost 40 years ago. It was a completely different time with different people making decisions, a different social and media environment, and no real Twitter or 24-hour news cycle. A lot of that stuff won’t fly today. It’s not really worth discussing because times are so different.

Going forward, if a player has a troubled past, the Giants are interested in Joe Shuen and Brian Dabol will present their case to Mara and the Giants will enter draft night to see if that player is on the draft board or not to see if the player’s property is willing to sign.


Stephen Ahlberg asks: I keep reading about “dead money” and how Jon Mara was willing to put up with it in order to help put their pay cap on. Why is this important? Why chop a player and get dead money? Why not put the player up for another year?

Ed says: Stephen, before I get into this, I have to remind everyone that I am not an expert on salary cap. I have a basic understanding, and do my best to provide explanations within that understanding.

Now, what is “dead money?” This is the money set aside against the salary cap for players who are no longer part of your team, whether they are released, traded or retired. You don’t want dead money on your roof, but it’s a necessary evil to the way NFL contracts work. The Giants, all over the Cap, currently have $4.29 million in dead money in the 2022 cap. Nate Solder holds $4 million of that due to bonus money pushed into 2022 to help the capped Giants in 2021.

First of all, you sometimes have to cut out or trade off players you might want to “push out for another year”, to stay under the cap and get starter money signings and work throughout the season. The Giants may not want to cut the Sterling Shepherd, for example, but they may have to. It holds a cap of $12.5 million hit in 2022, which is as much for the injured player as it is. The giants could save $8.5 million from that by making it a cut after June 2. They hold $3.995 million in dead money for 2022, but they can use that money to sign newbies or add two or three low-cost veteran dealerships. It becomes a balancing act.

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You have a change of system with a new general manager and head coach. They have the desire to craft the menu in the way they think is necessary. They will likely have to put up with some short-term dead money to move towards that goal. Finding the $40 million Schoen says he needs to find to work in 2022 means there will be some dead money created. This is inevitable.

Again using Shepard’s contract as an example, his $41 million four-year deal included $16.21 million fully guaranteed upon signing. He’s got that money, but for accounting and cap purposes the bonus is split over the term of the contract. Thus, regardless of the giants’ liability on paper for $7.99 million in signature bonus cash owed to Sheppard over the next two years.

So, maybe they want Shepherd. Maybe, though, they need $8.5 million they can save more. You must fill out a complete list, and sacrifices must be made.

This is why big money free agent contracts, and even second contracts for your draft picks, have risks. There is often money in your books to credit for even after you’ve moved on from the player.


Daniel Albro asks: Hi Ed, I’ve been on the blog for a few years now, and due to the many changes in GM and coaches, the board has been more active than I remember. I think the more clicks, the more popular the blog and you become yourself. So I was wondering about your aspirations. Would you like to move into a network job, like Florio, maybe as the Giants Reporter for the NFL Network, or something like that, or are you just glad to be where you are?

Ed says: Daniel, interesting question. I don’t mind sharing a little bit of myself and what I’m up to, so let’s do that.

First of all, I’ve been running this site for 15 years. It’s gotten bigger and more successful than I ever could have imagined, and now things are as active and busy as they ever were. I am very proud of the work we do, and of what this site has become.

In terms of aspirations, I understand that I am 61 years old. This is probably the best job I will ever get. As a college kid I always dreamed of being a national sports columnist for a big newspaper like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Boston Globe – the three papers that were considered the preeminent sports sections of the day when I was a young man.

Life takes you where it takes you, and I have spent most of my working life either writing about sports or designing/editing sports sections of newspapers. I’ll take it. The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is be a part of something that has been the absolute best in its field at what it does. Subjectively, I think that’s what Big Blue View stands for when it comes to its niche in the media market that covers giants.

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If I’m young, if I’ve gotten into NFL coverage in my twenties instead of my late forties, I might be looking to move somewhere like ESPN or a senior national job. This is not realistic. Selfish, I know I can do these jobs. I know what this sounds like, but I don’t think these people are any better or more talented than me. However, at my age, I also know that no one would give me that opportunity.

I just want to do a good job. As long as I keep doing this, I want to keep improving this site. I want to do stories like an in-depth look at Brian Daboll two weeks ago, or the piece you did on Andre Patterson. The things I enjoy the most—more than games and the grind of everyday things—is telling stories about the people who play and coach the games.


Glenn Belfair asks: I’m surprised I haven’t read anything on this topic.

Giant broadcasters are the worst. Most of them are former Dallas “giant haters”. The rest are just as bad, some are known and some are not. On giant game days, my friends and I often say “Who is this?”

Go back to the Jim Gordon/Dick Lynch days. Summeral and Madden have also been permanent favorites of ours. Every so often we have to turn off the audio and go to Bob Papa and Carl Banks on the radio. Unfortunately, radio delays can be boring and hard to listen to.

“Watching” will be more fun with Papa and Punk. Why can’t we find consistent, better-balanced broadcasters and/or gigantic fans? It would even make gigantic losses more palatable. what you say?

Ed says: Glenn, I’m not sure what to expect when you watch the national broadcast of the Giants matches. You don’t hear the “Announcers of the Giants”. You hear the national broadcasters of CBS/FOX/NBC/NFL who are assigned to the game by their bosses. They are neither a fan of giants nor a hater of giants. They are there to do a job.

It is not the job of the broadcast crew to favor one team or the other. Now, do broadcasters have biases? certainly. Everyone on this planet has prejudices of some kind. For example, Troy Aikman should never be allowed to broadcast Cowboys in Dallas matches because he simply cannot be objective about the team he has played with for decades.

I honestly think that in most cases people hear prejudice against the Giants because what they are actually hearing is really a bad team.

If you want to listen to “Broadcasters of the Giants”, you should listen to Papa and Banks.

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