Breaking Down New York Giants' 2013 Salary Cap: Where Is Money Best Spent?
Your parents always reminded you to spend your money wisely, right?
That's exactly what the New York Giants must do this season, as ESPN's John Clayton projects the G-Men to be $4.7 million over the cap in 2013.
New York clearly needs help on the defensive side of the football—whether it be through the 2013 NFL draft or through free agency—which means a few players may have to restructure their deals, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York alludes to.
Before pursuing players on the free-agent market, New York needs to take care of its current players and then worry about signing free agents and draft picks.
Sign Victor Cruz to Long-Term Deal
Re-signing Victor Cruz to a long-term deal must be the No. 1 priority for the G-Men this season.
Jerry Reese knows the type of player he has in Cruz, who has put together back-to-back seasons of 1,000 receiving yards and at least nine touchdown receptions.
While New York has yet to reach an agreement with the 26-year-old wideout, NFL.com's Kareem Copeland reports that Cruz is optimistic regarding his contract situation with the Giants.
It's not surprising the Giants didn't ink Cruz to a big deal after his explosive 2011 campaign, but now that Cruz has proven to be a lethal threat to opposing defenses, it's time to reward Mr. Salsa.
Before addressing the numerous unrestricted and restricted free agents New York has, it must take care of its star wide receiver, who's been nothing but a revelation for Big Blue.
Re-Sign Other Key Players
T Will Beatty (unrestricted)
Beatty held down the left tackle position nicely for the Giants and is one of the most important re-signings the Giants must make this offseason to keep the offensive line on track.
With a history of injuries, New York should be able to retain the 27-year-old, which is good news for Eli Manning & Co.
G Kevin Boothe (unrestricted)
We shouldn't even be discussing whether Boothe will be back in blue next season, because he definitely deserves to be.
Along with Beatty, Boothe was certainly a positive aspect of the Giants offensive line.
TE Martellus Bennett (unrestricted)
I would hope Jerry Reese isn't blind enough to take away one of Manning's favorite targets.
Bennett proved this season he can be an effective starting TE in the NFL by collecting 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns.
S Stevie Brown (restricted)
Stevie Brown was hands-down New York's best defender, intercepting eight passes and forcing two fumbles.
If he's re-signed, Brown should be the Giants' starting safety in 2013.
RB Andre Brown (restricted)
Eight touchdowns on just 73 attempts in a mere 10 games?
Despite the broken leg, Brown must be in New York next season to spell Bradshaw.
TE Bear Pascoe (restricted)
Bennett is undoubtedly deserving of the starting tight end spot, but Bear Pascoe is a fantastic run-blocker and the Giants should be able to sign him for cheap.
QB David Carr (unrestricted)
I think Carr knows he's not going to start in the NFL and he knows New York's offense in and out.
God forbid Manning gets hurt, I'd have faith in Carr.
K Lawrence Tynes (unrestricted)
Tynes missed a few field goals down the stretch, and while I do think the Giants should either sign a kicker in free agency or find one in the draft, if they don't, Tynes should be back.
He was more than solid for most of the season and has proven he can make big kicks for the G-Men in the past.
LB Chase Blackburn (unrestricted)
Say what you want about Blackburn and the Giants' linebacking corps, but Blackburn was New York's best LB this season.
Mark Herzlich may be ready to take over at MLB, but you can never have enough depth at the position—for the right price, of course.
Save Cash for Free Agency
There are a number of big names set to hit the free agent market, and although the Giants usually don't splurge on the open market, they should this year.
Since so many stars headline the free agent market, New York would be wise to find some under-the-radar guys who would fit in nicely.
Someone like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie fits the criteria.
New York needs help at corner and with guys like Aqib Talib and Brent Grimes becoming free agents, as well as the fact that DRC's Philadelphia Eagles had a terrible year defensively, Rodgers-Cromartie should come in a lot cheaper.
Anthony Spencer is also set to hit the open market and should be a target of the Giants.
He's already told ESPN he's willing to move to DE, which is exactly what New York needs with Osi Umenyiora likely leaving town.
The G-Men made the right move last offseason by acquiring Martellus Bennett and should look to pursuit a few free agents this winter.
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