The New York Giants may have signed Robert Ayers as a replacement for Justin Tuck (Oakland Raiders), but the team apparently passed on some of the more elite pass rushers (such as Michael Johnson) due to "economic" issues, reports ESPN's Dan Graziano.
Despite what many believed was a solid amount of cap space — which was primarily used on the offensive line and secondary — the Giants reportedly steered clear of high-priced pass rushers because Jason Pierre-Paul will soon command a large deal himself, while their roster also houses Mathias Kiwanuka (who took a pay cut) and second-year player Damontre Moore.
Economics, basically. In the salary-cap era, the key concept in roster-building is allocation of resources. And while pass-rusher is a position to which the New York Giants have historically been willing to commit major resources, they entered the offseason fairly well committed there already, with a first-round pick sunk into Jason Pierre-Paul, a third-rounder in Damontre Moore and a still-decent-sized contract for Mathias Kiwanuka.
Obviously, based on the work they did, you know they had a lot of people to sign and a lot of holes to fill. They weren't going to be able to spend big to fill them all. They ended up spending big on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback, another position on which they like to commit major resources but where former high picks Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster were on their way out. They believe they'll be spending big money next offseason on a long-term deal for Pierre-Paul. So a five-year, $43.75 million deal for a pass-rusher (which is what Johnson got) would have left them over-committed at that position and, by virtue of the tough cap decisions that would have resulted, under-committed at other important positions.
Given the investment in Moore and the upcoming contract likely to be received by JPP, it's of no real surprise that General Manager Jerry Reese & Co. chose not to over-commit to a massive contract for another pass rusher. And despite the mantra "you can never have too many pass rushers," the Giants currently find themselves somewhat well-equipped in that area if they can remain healthy.
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