Potential Giants cuts: Brandon Marshall, Eli Apple among tough decisions

The New York Giants have decisions to make. Only the decision-makers have recently changed and, with them, so have the schemes and direction of the franchise.

With Dave Gettleman as general manager and Pat Shurmur as coach, everything changes. They are going to force a roster assembled by Jerry Reese and, in recent years, Ben McAdoo conform to their liking.

Here are some of the decisions they face, with projections on how they might work out:

CB Janoris Jenkins

Potential savings vs. cap: $6 million

Dead money: $6 million

The situation: He has three years remaining on the five-year deal he signed in 2016. Jenkins is a quality player, no doubt. He was a Pro Bowler in 2016, when things were going well with the Giants. When they fell apart last year, Jenkins threw in the towel. He failed to return to the team on time after the bye week and didn’t even offer a reason. His effort also came into question before he landed on injured reserve. If the Giants really wanted to send a message, they could feasibly sever ties with Jenkins.

Prediction: Jenkins stays. He’s too good and useful a player.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Potential savings vs. cap: $6.5 million

Dead money: $2 million

The situation: This has nothing to do with Rodgers-Cromartie’s play. He again performed well when he was on the field last season. It’s just that he’s 32, was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team and played only 58 percent of defensive snaps last season. If the Giants don’t envision a bigger role, he might not be worth the significant investment. They might be better using that money elsewhere (see: offensive line). The new regime, however, might actually benefit Rodgers-Cromartie.

Prediction: Rodgers-Cromartie stays. And he gets more snaps on the outside, where he’s better suited to play.

WR Brandon Marshall

Potential savings vs. cap: $5.2 million

Dead money: $1 million

The situation: His first year with the Giants didn’t work out. He struggled and then missed most of the season with an ankle injury. Now he’s returning as a soon-to-be 34-year-old wide receiver set to make more than $5 million.

Prediction: Marshall goes. The Giants need to allocate resources elsewhere and already have Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram on the roster. Best case he returns on a one-year, incentive-filled deal.

CB Eli Apple

Potential savings vs. cap: $4.1 million

Dead money: N/A

The situation: His season was filled with controversy. The 2016 first-round pick was benched (on multiple occasions), suspended and had incidents with coaches, teammates and executives. It’s a hard sell to bring him back after last year, even though he’s a talented player.

Prediction: Apple is traded. He still has value, even if it’s not equitable to the first-round pick the Giants used on him just two years ago. He should be able to bring a midround pick back in return.

OT Ereck Flowers

Potential savings vs. cap: $2.4 million

Dead money: $2.4 million

The situation: Another first-round pick who hasn’t worked out. Flowers struggled again this past season as the team’s starting left tackle and then asked out of the finale with an injury that many in the organization didn’t believe should have kept him out. Flowers and Bobby Hart (already released) also had their trouble in the offensive line room. At the very least, the Giants can’t possibly enter this season with Flowers being handed the left tackle job. Maybe he can move to the right side? To guard?

Prediction: Flowers stays. The Giants try him at right tackle or at least bring in serious competition for him at left tackle. If it doesn’t work out they try him at guard before looking to make a trade for a late-round pick, the same the Rams did with failed first-round pick Greg Robinson, who was traded to the Lions for a sixth-round selection.

G John Jerry

Potential savings vs. cap: $2.5 million

Dead money: $1.6 million

The situation: He’s the only Giants offensive lineman to start every game each of the past two seasons. Jerry isn’t the road-grader Gettleman would seem to favor at guard, but he is a serviceable starter. After a slow start last season, he got it together and played well down the stretch.

Prediction: Jerry stays. He’s not overly expensive and gives them options on the offensive line. He won’t be guaranteed a starting spot but will be part of the mix. At the very least he's reasonably priced veteran depth.

WR Dwayne Harris

Potential savings vs. cap: $2.4 million

Dead money: $1.6 million

The situation: He hurt his foot in the same Week 5 loss that took down Beckham and Marshall. Harris is an expensive special-teams player. He’s also 30 years old and coming off an injury that required surgery.

Prediction: Harris is cut. His role and production don't match his price tag.