The Ryan release was not necessarily part of new Giants GM Joe Schoen‘s efforts to shed payroll and make his club cap-compliant; the transaction was only expected to net about $775K of cap space for 2022, since Ryan was not designated a post-June 1 cut. Instead, parting ways with Ryan had more to do with the fact that he is 31 and was deemed to be an imperfect fit in New York’s new defensive regime (and it did clear $12.25MM off the books for 2023).
Ryan was due an $8.5MM salary in 2022, and $5.5MM of that figure was fully-guaranteed. The remaining $3MM, which is at issue in the grievance, was guaranteed for injury. As Duggan reports in a separate tweet, Ryan underwent postseason finger surgery, so his position is that the injury guarantee should kick in and that he is entitled to an additional $3MM. Until the matter is resolved, 40% of the disputed amount, or $1.2MM, will remain on the Giants’ cap.
Schoen has just two safeties on the roster at the moment (2019 fourth-rounder Julian Love and 2020 second-rounder Xavier McKinney). The Giants currently hold the Nos. 5 and 7 overall picks and will therefore have a good chance to draft star Notre Dame safety/do-it-all weapon Kyle Hamilton, but with plenty of other holes at more valuable positions, the club may choose to pass on the former Golden Domer and address its safety needs with later picks or in post-draft free agency.
Ryan, meanwhile, went from a rebuilding team to a championship contender. By reuniting with former Patriots teammate Tom Brady in Tampa, Ryan will have a chance to add a third Super Bowl ring to his collection as part of a safety group that includes Antoine Winfield Jr., Mike Edwards, and fellow free agent acquisition Keanu Neal.