In a move that could free up cap space for the New York Giants to sign wide receiver Victor Cruz to a long-term deal, veteran offensive tackle David Diehl has agreed to accept a substantial pay cut for the 2013 season.
Diehl, 32, reached an agreement with the Giants on Tuesday to cut his base salary from $4.475 to $1.0 million for the final season of his six-year, $31.0 million contract, the New York Daily News reported. The restructured deal also eliminates several bonuses in Diehl's contract.
A one-time Pro Bowl lineman, Diehl's play has dipped in recent seasons. Last season, Diehl ranked 67th in pass blocking efficiency among tackles who appeared in at least 25 percent of their team's offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. In 2009, Diehl's lone Pro Bowl season, he ranked in the Top 15 among tackles in quarterback hurries allowed (26).
Diehl, a fifth-round pick of the Giants in 2003, has started 149 games with the team over the last 10 seasons. In 2012, Diehl received nine starts and ended the regular season as the team's starting right tackle. Diehl could be pushed by third-year tackle James Brewer in training camp.
The move leaves the Giants roughly $4.64 million under the salary cap. Eli Manning said last week that he would be willing to restructure his contract to open up space for the Giants to re-sign Cruz. Last offseason, Manning re-worked his contract to save the Giants roughly $6.75 in cap space for 2012. Manning carries a cap hit of $20.85 million for 2013.
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