Though they have more than $17MM in cap space to work with when free agency begins, the Giants have made a move to create a tad more financial wiggle room by restructuring the contract of defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), Jenkins accepted a pay cut, lowering his 2015 base salary from $2.2MM to $1MM. In exchange, the 34-year-old Jenkins was given a $375K per-game roster bonus, meaning in total, New York created $825K in new space, tweets Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap.
Jenkins’ new deal will include just $250K in guaranteed money, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), who also reports that Jenkins can earn an extra $100K through incentives. His revised 2015 cap figure will be $2.091MM. Jenkins, in his second season with the Giants, started 11 games, finishing as the No. 33 defensive tackle among 81 qualifiers per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Due to his age and his relatively mediocre 2014 performance, I’m guessing that Jenkins was told that he would be released had he not accepted this pay reduction.
The Giants will now focus on re-signing pending free agents such as defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, safety Antrel Rolle, and cornerback Walter Thurmond, as well as targeting help for their battered offensive line and linebacking unit. For more on what New York might do in the coming months, check out PFR’s Zach Links’ Offseason Outlook for the Giants.