Eric Gay/Associated Press
If you were ready to mail your farewell cards to offensive linemen Chris Snee and David Baas, you might want to wait.
That's because both 30-something offensive linemen, who finished last year on injured reserve, could be back in 2014.
"I think both of those guys want to play," said general manager Jerry Reese, per Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger. "I've talked to them. I believe they want to play. But they've had significant injuries and right now, I think they're on a good track to recovery. We'll see how it goes."
Baas had his season end last year after three games thanks to an unspecified MCL injury for which he needed surgery.
However, Baas also has a history of neck problems, which landed him on the Giants weekly injury report in both 2011 and 2013.
With Baas currently owning the fourth-highest cap figure on the team ($6.45 million), Over the Cap estimates that the Giants would save $1.775 million if they cut him.
Will they? If the Giants can find a younger, cheaper alternate in that second and third wave of free agency, I think they'll part with Baas.
Reese mentioned that when a player is up there in age and coming off a major injury, you can't always count on him, and while he wasn't specifically talking about Baas, certainly the logic would have to apply in that case.
If Baas is cut, I think the Giants will designate him as a post-June 1 transaction.
Doing so would increase their cap saving to $5 million and be more than enough to sign their rookie class, which OTC estimates will cost them $2,288,911.
Snee, meanwhile, underwent surgeries on both hips last year. According to head coach Tom Coughlin, Snee could be eyeing a return in 2014.
"He's progressing well. He's working. He's building himself back up," Coughlin said. "He feels good and he's looking forward to feeling better. All I can tell you is that he's making very good progress."
However, that doesn't mean the Giants will wait indefinitely for Snee. Still, the head coach sounded optimistic about the potential return of the veteran guard:
Right now it's all offseason and he's in the rehab aspect of it. But for anybody that's been injured, obviously the rehab and all of those things come into play as you start to formulate where you are. Right now I'm optimistic about it.
Reese, however, was reluctant to echo any optimism:
All of that will come out in the wash. Is he going to be healthy? I think that's the number one thing. Obviously, he's got a big contract; that's an issue as well. So all of that will get hashed out when we figure out if he's going to be healthy or not.
Reese did confirm that Snee is building toward a return.
"He definitely wants to play. Again, he had significant injuries and he's not a baby at this point in his career, so that always factors in."
If Snee does return, it most definitely won't be at his $11.3 million cap figure that includes a $6.75 million base salary.
The Giants have a couple of options they can do to lower that number.
The first is to have him take a salary cut and give him an opportunity to earn back some of the money through playing incentives that wouldn't affect this year's cap.
The second and less likely option is to reduce Snee's base salary and front him the difference. To lessen the hit on the cap, they would need to tack on a voidable year.
However, if the Giants definitely intend to move on from Snee after 2014 (assuming he does play), this option doesn't make sense because they'd have to carry dead money from his contract in 2015.
When might the Giants make a decision regarding Snee's contract?
"We'll take care of it when we need to take care of it," Reese said.