David Diehl takes massive pay cut to return with Giants

3/26/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

Right tackle David Diehl expressed last week that he was willing to rework his contract to continue playing for the team while allowing the cash-strapped New York Giants to sign other players.
David Diehl followed up on those intentions by taking a pay cut that lowers his 2013 base salary from $4.475 million to $1 million, with $200,000 of the sum guaranteed. There is no restructuring involved since the years of David Diehl’s contract were not extended.
The move takes big numbers off David Diehl’s previously expected salary cap hit of $6.9 million. The New York Giants now have $3.475 million in freed salary cap space to use for extensions or splurge on free agency additions.
It appears accepting a significant pay cut was the only way David Diehl could have returned with the Giants for 2013, especially after they parted ways running back Ahmad Bradshaw, linebacker Michael Boely and defensive tackle Chris Canty in salary cap related moves. New York Giants co-owner John Mara said right before the start of free agency that the team still hoped work things out with David Diehl. Last week David Diehl also said that he was willing to be a team player in negotiations over his 2013 base salary to facilitate in the re-signing of wide receiver Victor Cruz, with whom the New York Giants have hopes of striking a long-term deal.
"I would be willing to do some things to restructure and help other guys out and keep a great teammate ... like Victor Cruz," said David Diehl. "I have restructured before in my 10 seasons of being a New York Giant. It is not something I am unfamiliar with. That’s part of the business in the NFL.”
The New York Giants brought back cornerback Corey Webster after he agreed to a pay cut earlier this offseason. Both moves essentially allows the two veterans to continue their careers with the only NFL team they’ve played for in their entire careers, while allowing the New York Giants to avoid breaking their bank in the process.
The New York Giants also have the opportunity to return their entire starting offensive line from 2012, with re-signed left tackle William Beatty as well as left guard Kevin Boothe joining center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee. David Diehl is the incumbent starting right tackle and has been a fixture on the New York Giants’ offensive line since they drafted him as a fifth-round pick out of Illinois in 2003. However, David Diehl missed some time last season playing just 15 games due to knee injury, while starting just nine as he briefly lost his starting tackle job to Sean Locklear.
The 32-year-old David Diehl underwent knee surgery this offseason and has been rehabbing at the New York Giants’ facility. David Diehl could face some challenge for his starting right tackle job from third-year pro and the New York Giants’ former fourth-round pick James Brewer during training camp.
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