Giants Rumors

2023 NFL Cap Space, By Team

The start of June has served as a key NFL financial period for decades. While teams no longer have to wait until after June 1 to make that cost-splitting cut designation, teams pick up the savings from those transactions today. With a handful of teams making post-June 1 cuts this year, here is how each team’s cap space (courtesy of OverTheCap) looks as of Friday:

  1. Chicago Bears: $32.58MM
  2. Carolina Panthers: $27.25MM
  3. Arizona Cardinals: $26.68MM
  4. New York Jets: $24.79MM
  5. Detroit Lions: $23.72MM
  6. Indianapolis Colts: $23.39MM
  7. Dallas Cowboys: $20.48MM
  8. Houston Texans: $16.81MM
  9. Green Bay Packers: $16.57MM
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers: $15.73MM
  11. Cincinnati Bengals: $14.92MM
  12. New Orleans Saints: $14.27MM
  13. New England Patriots: $14.12MM
  14. Miami Dolphins: $13.9MM
  15. Cleveland Browns: $13.86MM
  16. Philadelphia Eagles: $13.85MM
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: $12.61MM
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars: $12MM
  19. Washington Commanders: $11.57MM
  20. Baltimore Ravens: $11.54MM
  21. San Francisco 49ers: $10.72MM
  22. Atlanta Falcons: $10.7MM
  23. Denver Broncos: $10.13MM
  24. Minnesota Vikings: $9.75MM
  25. Tennessee Titans: $7.99MM
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $7.94MM
  27. New York Giants: $3.82MM
  28. Las Vegas Raiders: $3.37MM
  29. Los Angeles Rams: $1.49MM
  30. Buffalo Bills: $1.4MM
  31. Kansas City Chiefs: $653K
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $402K

The Dolphins gained the most from a post-June 1 cut (Byron Jones) this year, creating $13.6MM in cap space from a deal that will spread out the cornerback’s dead money through 2024. But the Browns (John Johnson, Jadeveon Clowney) and Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott) created more than $10MM in space as well.

The Jets’ number is a bit deceiving. They are still working on a restructure with Aaron Rodgers, as the trade acquisition’s cap number — after a Packers restructure — sits at just $1.22MM. In 2024, that number skyrockets to $107.6MM. Rodgers’ cap hit will almost definitely will climb before Week 1, so viewing the Jets along with the other teams north of $20MM in space is not entirely accurate.

Minnesota is moving closer to separating from its $12.6MM-per-year Dalvin Cook contract. The team already created some space by trading Za’Darius Smith to the Browns. Cleveland, which is one of the teams connected to DeAndre Hopkins, added Smith and did so with help from its Deshaun Watson restructure. Watson was set to count $54.9MM against the Browns’ 2023 cap. That number is down to $19.1MM, though the Browns’ restructure both ballooned Watson’s mid-2020s cap figures to $63.9MM — which would shatter the NFL record — and added a 2027 void year.

Tampa Bay and Los Angeles sit atop the league in dead money, with the Bucs — largely from their April 2022 Tom Brady restructure — checking in at $75.3MM here. That total comprises nearly 33% of the Bucs’ 2023 cap sheet. The Rams, at more than $74MM, are not far behind. Despite the Bills and Chiefs — the teams most frequently tied to Hopkins — joining the Bucs and Rams near the bottom of the league in cap space, both AFC contenders also sit in the bottom five in dead money.

Latest On Giants’ Offensive Line

The Giants selecting John Michael Schmitz in Round 2, making the Minnesota product the first pure center drafted this year, points to four positions along their offensive line being solidified. Schmitz earning the starting snapper gig would mean he accompanies Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal and Mark Glowinski on New York’s O-line.

With Glowinski stationed at right guard, left guard would seem the unit’s only question. That is, if Brian Daboll‘s draft-weekend assessment of Schmitz’s instant-starter capabilities turns out to be accurate. But the Giants are sending veteran Ben Bredeson into two position competitions, per the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy.

The 2021 trade acquisition is vying for both the left guard and center positions, with Dunleavy adding the ex-Raven should probably be considered the favorite at the LG spot. The Giants used a rotation at that position last season, platooning Bredeson and Nick Gates. Washington signed Gates in free agency, clearing a path for Bredeson to earn the job outright in a contract year. Bredeson is going against fellow contract-year blocker Shane Lemieux and 2022 third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu, per Dunleavy.

Lemieux held a starting job during the second half of the 2020 season, replacing Will Hernandez and taking over after the former starter recovered, but suffered a patellar tendon tear in September 2021. That career-stalling injury delayed Lemieux’s return until late November of last year, and the former fifth-round pick only suited up for one game last season. A toe injury added to Lemieux’s early-career health issues. Ezeudu, one of two ex-North Carolina guards the Giants drafted last year (along with fifth-rounder Marcus McKethan), played 290 offensive snaps as a rookie.

Pro Football Focus graded Glowinski, a longtime Colts starter, as a top-30 guard last season. It slotted Bredeson as the best of the rest, ranking him just outside the top 50. Bredson, a former fourth-round pick, has played guard more than center and should probably be considered a long shot to beat out Schmitz at the latter spot. With Bredeson, Lemieux, Ezeudu and McKethan rostered, along with ex-Steelers center J.C. Hassenauer and 2022 second-stringer Jack Anderson, the Giants will have some decisions to make when setting their final 53. McKethan did not play last year, suffering an ACL tear during the preseason.

None of these interior blockers is in the mix to be the team’s top tackle off the bench, with Matt Peart, Korey Cunningham and Tyre Phillips are battling for the swing gig behind Thomas and Neal. Phillips, claimed off waivers from the Ravens last year, made five starts in 2022 but worked behind the other two to start OTAs. Peart and Cunningham each have six career starts, though neither has seen much time since their respective rookie years. An outside addition to work behind Thomas and Neal should not be ruled out, per Dunleavy.

These O-line competitions will not heat up until training camp, obviously, as pads do not come on until August. Despite losing Gates and 2022 center starter Jon Feliciano in free agency, the Giants have a few options along their offensive front.

Giants Looking Into Potential DeAndre Hopkins Acquisition

The list of expected suitors for DeAndre Hopkins is fairly well-known at this point, but other teams will no doubt at least kick the tires on the idea of signing the All-Pro wideout. The Giants are a member of that group.

Hopkins has officially been released by the Cardinals, leaving him free to sign anywhere on the open market. A number of Super Bowl contenders (particularly in the AFC) have been connected to him throughout the offseason, given his own remarks and the value he would add to any team’s passing attacks. The Chiefs and Bills are currently considered the favorites to sign him, though a Browns deal reuniting him with Deshaun Watson could also be in play.

The Giants will look into Hopkins as a possible addition, head coach Brian Daboll said on Wednesday. GM Joe Schoen was involved in the team’s work on Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason and through his year-long free agency period. The latter ended up signing with the Ravens, while the Giants turned their attention elsewhere with respect to their pass-catching corps.

“Like last year, anytime there’s someone that’s available that’s a free agent, I’d say Joe and his staff are gonna look into it, research it,” Daboll said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News“We talk about a lot of different players. So regardless of who it is, that’s part of our job is to make sure we’re doing our due diligence.”

New York’s most impactful addition so far in 2023 has been tight end Darren Waller, who could be in line to operate as a de-facto No. 1 receiver if healthy. At the WR spot, they signed former Colt Parris Campbell while retaining Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins and Sterling Shepard. Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler, has a considerably longer track record than the rest of the team’s receiver room. Leonard also notes that the Giants are one of a ‘handful” of teams which were expected to be involved in a pursuit of the 30-year-old.

However, New York has just $3.8MM in cap space at the moment, a figure which puts them in a similar financial situation to Kansas City and Buffalo. The Giants also have plenty of work to do on the Saquon Barkley extension front, something which is likely a higher priority for the team in the long term. As a result, it would be a stretch to consider them Hopkins frontrunners as of now.

Latest On Giants’ Saquon Barkley Talks

Not much has taken place between the Giants and Saquon Barkley since the draft. The franchise-tagged running back has until July 17 to come to an agreement on a multi-year extension.

Doing so would lock in the Giants’ most productive offensive player from last season, but the risks of a big-ticket contract compared to the $10.1MM franchise tag are something the team has been weighing all offseason. Their top offer to date has been worth roughly $13MM per season, a figure which would rank third in the league amongst running backs.

However, New York pulled that offer, and it remains very much in doubt whether they will be willing to submit one of similar value given the position’s current landscape. The free agent market saw several short-term, low-cost contracts handed out to the running backs who weren’t tagged, hurting Barkley’s leverage if he were aiming to cite the overall marketplace during negotiations. His importance to the Giants, though, remains unquestionable.

The 26-year-old ran for a career-high 1,312 yards in 2022, a year in which he was able to remain healthy. Barkley was the focal point of New York’s offense en route to their surprising success, and should once again carry a heavy workload in 2023 despite the team’s investments in quarterback Daniel Jones and an improved group of pass-catchers. However, Barkley talks are not currently being addressed with much urgency.

Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes that the parties remain “no closer than ever” with respect to hammering out a new deal. Perhaps the top sticking point in this situation, he adds, is the matter of guarantees. No hard figures in that regard have emerged to date on any of the Giants’ offers, nor the degree to which they fall short of what the Penn State alum might be seeking.

Playing on the tag this year and next would see Barkley earn $22.2MM; franchise tags are fully guranteed. That figure thus represents a logical baseline for guarantees in any hypothetical, multi-year extension. Only two backs – Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry – received more than $22MM in total guarantees on their current deals, so making such a commitment (albeit likely in the first two or three years of a longer contract) would be quite signficant on the Giants’ part.

Plenty of time still remains until the deadline for Barkley to either agree to a new offer or sign his tag. With no active dialogue taking place, though, plenty of progress will need to be made in the coming weeks to sort out his future beyond 2023.

Each NFL Franchise’s Richest QB Contract

The quarterback market has moved again this offseason. A year after Aaron Rodgers raised the average annual value bar past $50MM, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson did so on long-term extensions. Overall, four teams have authorized the most lucrative QB deal in their respective histories this offseason. Two more — the Bengals and Chargers — are in talks about record-setting extensions as well.

On that note, here is the richest quarterback contract each team has authorized. Although teams like the Jets and Lions have acquired big-ticket contracts via trade, only teams’ extensions or free agency agreements will qualify here.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Jay Cutler, January 2014. Seven years, $126.7MM. $38MM fully guaranteed

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Carson Palmer, December 2005. Six years, $97MM. $30.8MM fully guaranteed

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

In trading this contract to the Jets in April, the Packers restructured the deal. Rodgers’ exit will still tag the Pack with $40.3MM in 2023 dead money.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Carr’s second Raiders deal — agreed to in April 2022 — was worth $40.5MM per year. The full guarantee, thanks to the February escape hatch the team built into the contract, checked in lower than Carr’s initial Raiders extension.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Cousins’ 2020 extension checked in with a higher AAV ($33MM) but did not approach his initial Minnesota pact for guarantees.

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Mark Sanchez, June 2009. Five years, $50.5MM. $28MM guaranteed

This was the former No. 5 overall pick-turned-TV analyst’s rookie deal, made possible before the 2011 CBA reshaped the rookie salary structure. Chad Pennington‘s September 2004 extension (seven years, $64MM, $23MM guaranteed) marks the top contract the Jets have authorized for a veteran QB.

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

DeAndre Hopkins Rumors: Chiefs, Trade Talks, Patriots

The Chiefs were reportedly one of the most active teams looking into former Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this year. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Kansas City had received permission to talk with the now-free agent earlier in the offseason and spoke with him before the draft.

The biggest hurdle for the Chiefs, as it was for any team Arizona spoke to, was having to take on Hopkins’s existing contract. If a trade were going to take place, Kansas City wanted a much lower price, meaning the Cardinals would have to take on some of Hopkins’s contract in the trade.

The Chiefs were fairly big spenders this offseason after making big deals for tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Charles Omenihu, resulting in the exhaustion of most of their salary cap. After their most recent $3MM deal for tackle Donovan Smith, the Chiefs are 31st in the league in available cap space, according to

While adding Hopkins is on anyone’s wish list, except perhaps Arizona’s, Kansas City also doesn’t seem desperate to add any more wide receivers. Despite losing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman to free agency, the team has real confidence in Kadarius Toney‘s potential. They return Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore and drafted SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice in the second round to compete for snaps with the starters.

Here are a few more rumors surrounding the still young free agency of DHop:

  • The Chiefs were not the only team that the Cardinals struggled to find equal ground with on a trade. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who spoke on the Pat McAfee Show, Arizona was working to trade the veteran wideout up until the day before the first round of the NFL draft. The Cardinals hit snags, though, as each discussion required handling of draft pick compensation and salary adjustments that would require Arizona to take on some of Hopkins’s salary. In the end, they opted to take the hit in the salary cap while ultimately saving cash.
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was one of the first to release a list of best fits for Hopkins in his newfound free agency. According to Fowler, the Bills, Chiefs, Jets, Cowboys, and Saints are the teams to watch out for in the initial race. A Stefon Diggs-Hopkins-Gabriel Davis trio could be just what’s needed to put the Bills in a Super Bowl, but the team only has around $2.4MM in cap space. The Jets are a bit better at $6.9MM of cap space (still far under the $19.45MM Hopkins was set to make in Arizona this year), but the team is working to create more cap room by restructuring large contracts like those of linebacker C.J. Mosley and wide receiver Corey Davis. They nearly had Odell Beckham Jr. before the Ravens swept in and nabbed him themselves. The Cowboys are set on defense and have some strong weapons on offense. Adding Hopkins to a receiving corps that contains CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks could be deadly, and they’ve got $9MM of cap space to work with. The Saints have missed having a star wideout as they’ve dealt with the durability issues of Michael Thomas. Hopkins would be a nice veteran mentor for youngsters Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, and New Orleans has the most cap space of the above teams at $13.6MM. Fowler also lists the Browns, Giants, Falcons, and Patriots as wild-card teams to look out for.
  • Speaking of the Patriots, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that, now that the contract isn’t nearly as much of a hurdle, New England is more likely to pursue Hopkins. Hopkins reportedly had a bit of a rocky relationship with Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien when the two were in Houston together, but adding Hopkins would immediately provide quarterback Mac Jones with a WR1. Hopkins would be teaming up with Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, and last year’s second-round pick Tyquan Thornton to try and mount an upgraded New England passing attack.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Davis, Giants

Once again positioned as a Super Bowl frontrunner, the Eagles did lose both their starting safeties (Marcus Epps, C.J. Gardner-Johnson) and three-down linebackers (T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White) in free agency. The team has retooled at those spots, placing outside additions (Terrell Edmunds, Nicholas Morrow, third-rounder Sydney Brown) and holdovers (Reed Blankenship, Nakobe Dean) in the starter picture. Dean, a former Georgia standout who unexpectedly dropped into the 2022 third round, will be expected to start, Tim McManus of notes, adding Edmunds and Blankenship are the early expected starters at safety. But more help will probably be on the way. The spring additions aside, McManus expects the defending NFC champions to add both at safety and linebacker before the season. The Howie Roseman-era Eagles have a history of late-offseason supplementation on defense, having acquired Gardner-Johnson barely a week before last season and having traded for Ronald Darby in August 2017.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Cardinals’ tampering violation involving Jonathan Gannon may have impacted Vic Fangio‘s decision-making this offseason. Fangio likely would have become the Eagles’ defensive coordinator had the Cardinals and Gannon been upfront about the process that led to the two-year Eagles DC leaving for Arizona, Adam Schefter of ESPN said during a recent appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade Show. Cards GM Monti Ossenfort confessed to inappropriate contact with Gannon after the NFC championship game. The Cardinals officially requested a Gannon HC interview on Super Bowl Sunday, but discussions occurred before that point. The Eagles had previously eyed Fangio, who had served as a consultant for the team last season, as a Gannon replacement. Ex-Fangio lieutenant Sean Desai is now running Philly’s defense, and the team would have needed to pay up to keep Fangio, who is earning upwards of $4MM per year with the Dolphins.
  • Lane Johnson played in all three Eagles playoff games, coming back in limited form after suffering a late-season adductor injury that required offseason surgery. With that operation successful, Johnson alerted fans this week (via Twitter) he is good to go. This injury was not expected to threaten Johnson’s training camp availability, and the Eagles are on track to have their right tackle back — and on a new deal — well in time for the season.
  • Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis will miss offseason time after undergoing a cleanup procedure on his knee, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. This procedure occurred earlier this year and should be considered unlikely to threaten the third-year defender’s chances of starting the season on time. A 2021 first-round pick, Davis worked as a full-time starter in Washington last season, making 104 tackles (nine for loss) and tallying three sacks.
  • The Giants are making some changes to their scouting department. D.J. Boisture, a second-generation Giants staffer who had been with the team for a decade, is no longer in place as its West Coast area scout, Neil Stratton of tweets. Pro scout Steven Price is also out, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, who notes this may be a case of neither’s contract being renewed. Price spent the past three years with the Giants. GM Joe Schoen did not make many changes to Big Blue’s scouting staff last year, but the post-draft period often sees shuffling in these departments. The Giants are also promoting Marcus Cooper — an ex-Bills exec — to a national scout role. Cooper has been with the Giants for five years. Blaise Bell, who has been in the organization since 2019, will also rise to an area scout role.
  • Oshane Ximinesdeal to stay with the Giants will be worth the league minimum. The fifth-year outside linebacker will be tied to a one-year, $1.1MM deal, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, who notes the Giants are guaranteeing the former third-round pick $200K (Twitter link).

S Tony Jefferson To Retire, Join Ravens’ Staff

After missing more than two years because of an ACL tear, Tony Jefferson managed to land roles with multiple teams over the past two seasons. But the veteran defender will choose to step away rather than attempting to play a 10th season.

Jefferson intends to retire, Adam Schefter of tweets. He has another gig lined up, with Schefter adding the former Ravens safety is expected to join the team’s scouting staff. Jefferson played four seasons with the Ravens, working as a Baltimore starter in three of those. The 31-year-old cover man wraps his career having played for four teams, beginning with the Cardinals and including late-career stops with the 49ers and Giants.

Jefferson will follow punter Sam Koch in retiring and joining Baltimore’s staff. Current Ravens inside linebackers coach Zach Orr did the same in the late 2010s, moving from Ravens defender to coach. Jefferson did not finish his career with the Ravens, closing out his NFL run with the Giants last season, but he will stay close to the game as a member of the franchise. The Ravens announced Jefferson will be working as a scouting intern this summer.

The Ravens have signed several veteran safeties to big-ticket deals over the past several years. Jefferson joined Eric Weddle, Earl Thomas and Marcus Williams in this group. Baltimore teamed Jefferson and Weddle from 2017-18, when the two operated as the team’s starting safeties together. Jefferson signed a four-year, $34MM deal with the Ravens in 2017 and started 35 games over the next three seasons. During Jefferson’s final year as a full-time Ravens starter (2018), the team finished first in total defense.

A Week 5 ACL tear sidelined Jefferson for most of Baltimore’s 14-2 2019 season, and the Ravens released him with a failed physical designation in February 2020. Jefferson spent the 2020 season out of football. He eventually caught on with the 49ers in June 2021 but only played in two games with the team. He circled back to the Ravens in November of that year and ended up rejoining DC Don Martindale in New York just before last season. The Ravens released Jefferson on roster-cutdown day last August, his past with Martindale led to a Giants practice squad agreement. He moved up to the active roster and played nine games for the playoff qualifier.

Jefferson finished his career with 67 starts, lasting nine years despite entering the league as a Cardinals UDFA in 2013. Part of Bruce Arians‘ first batch of UDFAs, Jefferson played a regular role on the 2014 and ’15 playoff-bound Cardinals teams. He teamed with the likes of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in Arizona’s 2015 secondary, which helped form a top-10 defense during a season that ended in the NFC championship game. Jefferson intercepted only four passes as a pro but registered 9.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss. The future scout earned just more than $32MM as an NFL player.

Giants Sign Round 2 C John Michael Schmitz, Wrap Draft Class Deals

For the second time in a decade, the Giants chose a center in the second round of a draft. Nine years after the team’s Weston Richburg pick, John Michael Schmitz will be tabbed to take over as the starting snapper.

Schmitz will begin moving in that direction with a contract in place. The Minnesota product agreed to his four-year rookie deal Tuesday, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This wraps the Giants’ seven-man 2023 draft class. Deonte Banksdeal includes the customary fifth-year option; the rest of the lot is inked through the 2026 season.

In the leadup to the Giants choosing Schmitz at No. 57, Brian Daboll proclaimed he has the ability to become a Week 1 starter. With the Giants letting 2022 center starter Jon Feliciano walk in free agency, Schmitz will be positioned to take over.

The team deployed Richburg as its starting pivot from 2014-17, but instability hit in the years since the Miami product left in free agency. The Giants have used a few stopgaps — from Spencer Pulley to Jon Halapio to Nick Gates to Feliciano — in the years since Richburg joined the 49ers. A severe Gates injury in September 2021 made center a need area, leading to the Feliciano deal last year. Both Gates and Feliciano are elsewhere now — with the Commanders and 49ers, respectively. The Giants had Gates and Feliciano deals on their radar, but both ended up elsewhere in the NFC.

After doing some work on Schmitz before the draft, the Giants made the ex-Golden Gopher the first pure center off the board this year. Scouts Inc.’s No. 47 overall prospect, the 6-foot-3 lineman did use the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Schmitz turned 24 earlier this year, putting him on the older end for highly drafted rookies. He spent the bulk of the past three seasons as Minnesota’s starting center, earning second-team All-Big Ten acclaim (behind Ravens 2022 first-rounder Tyler Linderbaum) in 2021 and first-team all-conference recognition last season.

Schmitz joins Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal as highly drafted Giants O-linemen. The team has just one veteran-contract starter — right guard Mark Glowinski — in place up front, though Thomas is on track for a monster extension. Thomas may need to wait until 2024, considering the Giants just reupped 2019 first-rounder Dexter Lawrence and exercised their All-Pro tackle’s fifth-year option.

With Schmitz signed, here is a look at how the Giants proceeded in the 2023 draft:

Round 1, No. 24 (from Jaguars): Deonte Banks, CB (Maryland) (signed)
Round 2, No. 57: John Michael Schmitz, C (Minnesota) (signed)
Round 3, No. 73 (from Browns through Texans and Rams): Jalin Hyatt, WR (Tennessee) (signed)
Round 5, No. 172: Eric Gray, RB (Oklahoma) (signed)
Round 6, No. 209 (from Chiefs): Tre Hawkins, CB (Old Dominion) (signed)
Round 7, No. 243: Jordon Riley, DT (Oregon) (signed)
Round 7, No. 254: Gervarrius Owens, S (Houston) (signed)

OL Yodny Cajuste To Visit Jets, Giants

After earning his walking papers from the Patriots, Yodny Cajuste is drawing interest from both New York squads. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), the free agent offensive lineman visited the Jets today and will visit the Giants tomorrow.

Cajuste had a standout career at West Virginia, earning Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2018. That performance ultimately led to him being selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2019 draft.

The lineman struggled to stay on the field through his first two seasons in the NFL. He spent his entire rookie campaign on NFI after undergoing quad surgery, and his 2020 season was wiped out thanks to a knee injury. The lineman finally made his NFL debut in 2021, starting two of his seven appearances. He saw a similar role in 2022, starting three of his 10 appearances while spending a chunk of the season on IR.

The 27-year-old’s gig in New England was on thin ice even after he signed his non-guaranteed RFA tender earlier this offseason. The team already brought in tackles Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson to an OT grouping that also includes starter Trent Brown.

Both the Jets and Giants could use some depth at OT. While Cajuste has struggled to take the field, he’s been useful when he’s in the lineup. He graded out as an above-average offensive tackle in 2022, per Pro Football Focus, with the site giving him especially high marks for his run-blocking ability.

Despite his underwhelming performance with the Patriots, Cajuste was actually the last member of New England’s dreadful 2019 draft class to stick with the organization. The team’s entire 10-man class from that season is either playing elsewhere or is out of the league.