New York Giants fans saw an aging offensive line struggling in the team's 0-3 start this season. Fantasy owners saw quarterback Eli Manning under siege and unable to maximize his receiving weapons. The view can be a little different from inside the NFL, where performance is only part of the equation.
Before diving into specifics, let's take a step back to consider what also matters at the ownership level. You might recall NFL players winning lifestyle concessions during labor negotiations in 2011. There would be no minicamps on weekends, fewer padded practices, at least four days off during bye weeks and so forth. By most accounts, owners fared well protecting what was dearest to them: cash.
For all the focus on salary-cap management, cash can still be king (or at least an underrated prince). For the Giants, the offensive line isn't just struggling. The line is struggling while costing $33 million in cash for 2013, among the highest figures for any offensive line. That includes $21.5 million for linemen the team drafted or re-signed since last season. Being bad is bad. Being bad while costing the owner big bucks is worse.