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New York Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, David Diehl and Chris Snee Hit Contract Escalators

January 31st, 2013 at 3:15 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Chris Snee' photo (c) 2006, Alexa - license: The New York Giants are a projected $4.7 million over the salary cap (possibly more depending on what you read). With an additional $5 million of cap hits coming up after signing the team's draft picks, Big Blue has to clear around $10+ million of cap space between now and the start of training camp. That's without signing any free agents.

Although that sounds like a monumental task, it's doable given the amount of veterans on the roster that are primed to restructure their contracts. However, with Hakeem Nicks, Chris Snee and David Diehl each hitting escalators in their current deals, that task gets a little tougher.

Escalators can come from multitude a number of factors. Most of them are performance based and can result from gaining a certain number of yards, playing a minimum number of snaps, winning a certain award, playing a particular position or any one of a seemingly endless list of possibilities. There is no telling exactly why each of the aforementioned players will see an increase in their 2013 salaries, but they will cause the Giants salary cap number to be $975,000 higher than it otherwise would have been. 

Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks will see his 2013 base salary raise from $2.425 million to $2.725 million after hitting escalators in his rookie contract. Right guard Chris Snee will earn an additional $250,000 next season, which pushes his base salary to $6.7 million. Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, right tackle David Diehl is slated to earn $4.475 in 2013 after earning $375,000 in escalators. Diehl is expected to restructure before the beginning of next season, or else is unlikely he returns to the team.

It's also important to note that the above salaries do not include signing bonuses, which also count against the team's salary cap as well. For example, David Diehl's salary cap hit in 2013 is $7.47 million, while his base salary is just $4.475 million. Chris Snee's salary cap hit is $8.8 million, but his base salary is just $6.7 million. That's because both players have received guaranteed signing bonuses, which are averaged out over the life of the contract in terms of salary cap impact.

Although it's highly unlikely that these three players hitting salary escalators will significantly impact the Giants 2013 campaign, it just goes to show just how complex the salary cap can be in today's NFL. Obviously, General Manager Jerry Reese and the rest of the front office have already taken into account these escalators as they formulate a plan for improving the team this offseason.

However, there are so many ways contracts can be structured these days that it can become extremely difficult to grasp the true nature of a team's salary cap situation until the very end of the season. The Giants are going to have to be creative with whatever salary cap room they do create this offseason, as there is a good chance some familiar faces will be notably absent in 2013.


Tags: Chris Snee, contract, David Diehl, Football, free agent, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, wide receiver

15 Responses to “New York Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, David Diehl and Chris Snee Hit Contract Escalators”

  1.  sonnymooks says:

    I think the low investment is actually a byproduct from the poor scouting. They don’t use high picks on Lbs, they don’t or can’t recognize good LBs that are worthy of using those high draft picks on.

    Its a comfort zone, aka the devil you know.

    If you know DL, you prioritize them, and its easier to pick them because you know how good they will be, if you don’t know LBs as well, its a riskier pick, and not necessarily one with high upside, why spend on the pick on a risk that you don’t know how high their upside is, when you can spend that pick on a player that you know or strongly believe will be a productive player ?

    The location of the picks in the draft of the LBs tells you the faith they have in evaluation of players at that position.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      So we don’t normally draft LBs, TE, RBs, Cs or Gs high because we can’t scout them? I think it’s purely a value we place on LB. Which you are free to disagree with but it’s not because we can’t scout LBs. You can’t place a high value on every position and when you look at our defense clearly DL and DB are more highly invested in.

      •  sonnymooks says:

        We spent a high draft pick on Shockey, a high draft pick on a RB recently and Snee was a high draft pick. All were hits, the only one that wasn’t was the one time we drafted a LB high (Sintim).

        To be honest, I think the Giants scouting specializes in certain positions more then others, which is the norm, lots of teams are the exact same way (just with different positions) and everyone has a weakness to their game.

        I should also add on to that, the Giants claim to draft the best player available, in the last few years, with very little exception, they seemed to believe that the best players available in the early rounds were at positions other then LBs. It seems like the best player available for them, is rarely, if ever a LB until they get to the projects state of the draft.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Shockey was drafted a decade ago. And Wilson was the first RB drafted in the first in over a decade. Snee was drafted a decade ago. the pointis these are positions that we rarely invest high draft picks in. 4th-7th round picks are hard to consider misses.

          And to your last paragraph as Jfunk posted a few threads back what LB even in hindsight was a better pick than what we selected? BPA is mostly a myth. We draft the BPA weighted heavily by positions we value. All of our first round picks since JR took over have been need picks with the only exception being JPP.

          •  sonnymooks says:

            Good points, Since they draft alot on need (note, I said they “claim” to draft BPA). It makes sense NOT drafting RBs high, and they were pretty set when Boss took over for Shockey (though he was a later pick). When they saw a need, they drafted Beckum (3rd rounder and waste). They went the FA route to do what they couldn’t draft, but the point still sticks.

            Either they never believe they have needs at LB, or they are not good at scouting or evaluating them. I think they go with a combo of need and what they know, you know good DBs, you know good DLs, you know good WRs, you have less risk and high upsides, they draft with what they feel comfortable with.

            We do have a need at LB, I don’t think that is in dispute, but I also am not optimistic on them getting one they feel comfortable with high in the draft. Their comfort level, based on what they know seems to be later rounds for projects.

            •  GOAT56 says:

              I think we believe(d) that we could get by with average LBs because we had a great DL and good DBs. That formula could still work but seeign that we will likely lose Osi, Tuck is not the same and Canty appears to be slowing down then I dont expect our DL to be great anymore. Maybe very good but not great. So I think we need to have better LBs than we had before, especially at MLB. I think early down pass coverage on the LB level has been a real weakness at MLB and SLB. That should improve with Kiwi likely going back to DE. If we get a MLB that has range like Wagner I believe our LB corps can transform to a good one. As F55 has said and I agree we just need an impact LB. But I think it needs to be at MLB.

              •  sonnymooks says:

                I’m hoping for a strong MLB. One thing I like about Reese, is that he seems to be more along the lines of a “adapt to the player” as opposed to a “adapt to the playbook” school of thought.

                Tampa 2/Cover 2 schemes do require strong MLB play. I’m hoping for a solid Thumper MLB, but if we see a strong OLB, we should not overlook it. I think the LBs as a whole need upgrading, but then again, as you said about our DL, they may not be so great anymore, I honestly think the Giants should go for a passrusher first and foremost, even if thats not a “need” because it will be one, in just a year, and its better to fill those needs preemptively if you can, or if the talent is right.

  2.  Krow says:

    It’s almost insulting to think this trio got raises. I’d give Nicks a pass since he was clearly hurt … but the other didn’t earn their pay as it was. Restructure time Reese. Start here.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      It is the nature of contracts. Diehl escalators seem to be based on snaps, maybe snaps at OT. And Snee was either snaps or probowls.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Who’s our capologist? He needs to be run outta town for whatever deal left us with Snee and Diehl at those cap hits. Ridiculous.

    If I were Reese I would start negotiating with Snee. Let the entire team know that if Son-in-Law isn’t given a break in having to “give back” then no one’s agent should get greedy.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    So for those insisting we draft a linebacker (and knowing we’re not getting the potentially superb one in Jenkins) I’d be looking hard at the kids from Florida and ‘Bama (Bosic or something like that, and Neco Johnson). They’re both good run-stuffers and since our MIKE is likely to be a two-down player that’s what we really need. The Florida kid looks more fluid to me, so may be the better of the two in coverage, but they can both fill gaps and hit like nobody’s business.

    Either would be available in the third, perhaps even the fourth, round. That’s the first pick I would use on a linebacker, preferably my fourth one. Of course if Mintner or Te’o falls to #51 then you just have to consider them seriously, but I’d go elsewhere with my second pick.

    •  sonnymooks says:

      I don’t know if the ‘Bama boys would fit us scheme wise, but by God, I’d love having them. Saban knows how to coach LBs over there, they may become knuckleheads (see Raiders, Oakland) but you can’t go to far off with those guys.

      Te’o, I like alot, but I’d wait on anything until his combines and his interviews. I’d take a good long hard look at him if he was there in the first, but it would be a strong long look.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Agreed. Actually, the kid from Florida was initially considered likely to be the best in the country coming out of high school. I think he had an inconsistent career with the Gators but I saw him play three times and he was the kind of dominant presence we haven’t had in a long, long, time (since Jesse Armstead and the two good years we got from Pierce) at linebacker. That kid definitely likes to mix it up and clearly enjoys the hitting.

        I would gladly take him in Round 4 and would seriously consider him in Round 3.

        I still like Rhodes or Trufant with our first pick and a lineman (offensive or defensive) with #51. If they are determined to “groom” an O-lineman rather than play him immediately then I’d take the Long kid, because his athleticism is off the charts and I’m sure Flaherty could make him a monster. Say Trufant at #19 and Long at #51, Sylvester Williams at #84 and pray Bosic is still available even if we have to trade up at that point to get him.

        That would be, IMO, a great draft.

  5.  Samardzija says:

    Im feeling Shariff Floyd or Xavier Rhodes for our first pick. Still early though…

  6.  jb322 says:

    So what do you guys think of Demeco Ryans at Mike? Seems like he could be odd man out in philly and might be available if we were to be receptive.

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