Bill Haber/Associated Press
One of the goals for New York this offseason should be to continue to make tough decisions on players that were a part of one or both of their recent championship teams, yet no longer provide value.
They started doing this last offseason when they cut running back Ahmad Bradshaw. It appears they are letting Corey Webster, a key member of the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning squads, walk after they voided his contract in early February.
This purging should also include a pre-June 1 cut of Chris Snee, and releasing David Baas post-June 1.
At 32 years old and coming off a season that saw him play in only three games due to a torn hip labrum, Snee can’t be counted on to be remain healthy enough to start at right guard. Relegating him to a reserve role doesn’t make much sense either, since he has been a starter his entire career and it is preferable to have a backup who isn’t injury-prone. Why would you want a player that is a significant risk to get injured filling in for a starter who is either injured or underperforming?
Cutting the 10-year veteran would save New York a whopping $6.8 million in cap room because they would only owe him the remaining $4.5 million of his signing bonus on an $11.3 million 2014 cap hit. This is more than enough money to pay the first-year salary of a younger, healthier starting-caliber guard acquired in free agency (more on this later).
As for Baas, he is in a similar stage of his career to Snee, but without the same track record as a Giant. The 32-year-old missed 13 games last season due to a knee injury that ultimately ended his year for good in late October.
He was a member of the 2011 championship team, but his play in New York, as a whole, has been shaky. He had a minus-10.3 PFF rating in 2011, playoffs included, and a 3.3 PFF rating in 2012.
As Raanan explained in an NJ.com column back in mid-January, cutting Baas after June 1 would open up $5 million in cap room. This is compared to only $1.775 million prior to June 1.
There are some caveats that come with a post-June 1 cut. First, the difference of $3.225 million that would count against the cap in a pre-June 1 cut moves to 2015 in a post-June 1 cut. Also, since almost all the useful free agents will be locked up by the time Baas is cut, his money would not be helpful in free agency.
However, the $5 million can be used to sign the six new players the Giants expect to get in the draft. Just from that standpoint, cutting Baas after June 1 makes a lot of sense.
Even though these two moves would open up an additional $11.8 million in cap room for New York, the Giants appear inclined to simply to get both Snee and Baas to take pay cuts, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. This is obviously not the worst outcome, but the fact that the Giants are willing to carry salaries in 2014 for two players unlikely to help is concerning.
If they are worried about depth, they should just retain the services of free agent Kevin Boothe. The 30-year-old can play either guard position or center. He has not missed a game in three seasons and probably would only command the veteran’s minimum, which he played for in 2013. For 2014, that would only be $855,000, based on Boothe’s eight years of NFL service.