Giants’ new regime made Sterling Shepard feel wanted

Words spoke louder than actions for Sterling Shepard.

The Giants were going to cut his salary if he wanted to stay with the team this season. There are no two ways to do it. But the sting of the insult was softened by the message coming from a new regime that it was still appreciated and that was just the reality of resolving a dire salary cap situation.

So Shepard last month agreed to a pay cut of $8.5 million to $1.5 million – plus a $500,000 ($2 million fully guaranteed) workout bonus and other incentives. – to be part of the era of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll instead of declining and causing his release.

“I wanted to be with a group of guys who wanted me to be with the team. That’s what I got from those guys talking to them,” Shepard said on the first day of the program on Monday. Giants offseason volunteer “You try your luck in free agency and you don’t know where you’re going to end up. I still have connections with a lot of people in that building. There was a certain familiarity to me.”

Sterling Shepard felt wanted by new general manager Joe Schoen (top right) and new head coach Brian Daboll (bottom right).
Corey Sipkin, USA TODAY Sports, AP

The 29-year-old wide receiver ruptured his Achilles tendon Dec. 19 and missed the last three games, bringing his total to 20 games lost due to various injuries over the past three seasons. He was on crutches during introductory press conferences for Schoen and Daboll, but ‘the thought actually crossed my mind’ that he might be cast aside because they weren’t related to his past production.

Shepard does not know when he will be able to return to training.

“I’m doing everything in my power to get back on the court,” Shepard said. “I went through a lot mentally and emotionally in the beginning. A bit past that now and I want to focus on improving myself.

It’s a similar situation for linebacker Blake Martinez, whose salary has gone from $8.4 million to $1.25 million with a coaching bonus of $775,000. He came out of a torn ACL in September.

“It was definitely a tough decision,” Martinez said. “For me, it all came down to my family. To be able to have my daughters in the schools where they are and manage this situation, I love playing football. I knew what the coaches were bringing here from my rehab time and interactions, and I just felt confident knowing I could go out there and prove the type of player I’m coming back from my injury.

Shepard is the oldest Giant (seventh season) and the only one to have played in a playoff game with the franchise. His restructured contract means he will be a free agent in 2023 instead of 2024.

Sterling Shepard, on crutches, greets Brian Daboll during his introductory press conference.
Sterling Shepard, on crutches, greets Brian Daboll during his introductory press conference.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Shepard remains quarterback Daniel Jones’ favorite target when healthy. He was among the league leaders with 16 catches after two games.

“I did the pros and cons, and the pros outweighed the cons by a landslide,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was the best situation for me and my family. I was super happy that we were able to come to an agreement. If everything goes as I hope, I hope I will be here a little longer.

The Giants have restructured cornerback Adoree’ Jackson’s contract, converting $8.965 million of his contract into a signing bonus to create $5.98 million of cap space, according to ESPN. With a zero year added, this brings Jackson’s cap down to $9.2 million in 2022, down to $19.4 million in 2023, and adds a dead cap charge of nearly $3 million in 2024.

Schoen has previously said restructurings like this are a “last resort.” As it relates to Monday, that suggests the Giants aren’t close to their goal of trading cornerback James Bradberry for draft capital and cap space.

i love jackson
i love jackson
Getty Images

It also suggests the Giants are more confident Jackson will make the 2023 roster than receiver Kenny Golladay or defensive lineman Leonard Williams, both of whom were candidates for a restructuring that would have added more deaths in 2023. he had been released.

“I think Adoree’ is a good player for us,” Daboll said. “Glad he’s here. He’s energetic. It’s good to be with him this morning.

Daboll stood in front of a team as head coach for the first time on Monday. He used about 10 minutes of a full 20-minute team meeting to discuss “expectations and standards” — including a team-issued equipment-wearing dress code at the facility — and gave the rest of the time to others.

Players received playbooks and iPads loaded with movies for the first time. When the offense was in the weight room, the defense had meetings and vice versa. Daboll walked around the meeting room at each post for about five minutes.

Bradberry and wide receiver Kadarius Toney were the notable players not seen in any of the more than 100 photos the Giants socialized. Their attendance is not known.

“Everything is voluntary. We understand that,” Daboll said. “But there was a full house.”

New York Post

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