Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post takes an in-depth look into how the Giants can be contenders again in 2015 as they play out the string in 2014. The good news, Hubbuch writes, is that New York will be in great shape vis-a-vis the salary cap after being in “cap jail” not too long ago. The Giants figure to have just over $118MM in cap commitments next season, and thanks to highly-lucrative television deals, the salary cap could reach over $140MM for 2015. That leaves New York plenty of room to quickly fortify their roster, especially considering next year’s free agent class looks to be especially deep.
There is, of course, one caveat to all of this: Eli Manning. Hubbuch quotes former NFL agent and current salary cap guru Joel Corry, who noted that “I would think the next six games will decide where the Giants go with Eli. It’s probably going to be a big stretch for him. I know the Giants pride themselves on loyalty, but you can’t have your quarterback out there throwing five interceptions.” However, as Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com tweets, the Giants do not really have a choice when it comes to their 34-year-0ld signal caller next season; his contract makes him virtually untouchable at this point.
So it appears as though New York will have to rebuild around Manning and hope that their vast amount of salary cap room, which could continue to grow if the team decides to part ways with players like Mathias Kiwanuka and Jon Beason, will allow them to acquire the talent to return to relevancy in the NFC East.
Now for several more items from the league’s east divisions:
- In the same piece, Hubbuch suggests five specific moves that would help turn the Giants around, which include hanging onto Manning for one more season while turning 2015 into a contract year by not extending his current deal and drafting his potential replacement in May.
- Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) released a list of top head coaching candidates for 2015, a list that includes former head coaches in the Patriots‘ Josh McDaniels and the Eagles‘ Pat Shurmur.
- Mike Pouncey, although he has agreed to play guard for the Dolphins this season, wants to return to his natural center position after the 2014 season and Miami is aware of that desire, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com believes a Jets loss to a “displaced and distracted” Bills squad this week would be “the final nail in [Rex Ryan‘s] coaching coffin.”
- We looked at Robert Griffin III‘s uncertain future in Washington earlier today.