First off, the Giants were not going to release Holmes if he didn't accept the restructuring.
Second, the Giants did not pressure Holmes into the new deal, and were delighted when he accepted.
New York saved $1.2 million by redoing Holmes' pact, in effect waiving a starting-caliber player without actually having to do so.
Holmes, who received a $550,000 signing bonus for his troubles, can make up all the money he lost if he has even a slightly above average season.
The only incentive in Holmes' deal relates to his number of sacks in 2002. Once he reaches his fourth sack of the season, he'll be paid $400,000. If he's able to get four more and reach eight sacks on the season, he'll receive the balance of the $900,000 that he lost – $500,000.
Then he'd be ahead of the game, considering the signing bonus he recently received.
"I know that I didn't play up to my abilities last year," Holmes said. "But I know I'm going to play better this year. This will just give me more of a reason to do it."
Additionally, the final three years of his original five-year, $20 million contract were unchanged.
"Last year we paid him to be a good player and he played average," said one member of the Giants brass. "Now we're paying him like an average player and if he plays well, he'll get paid accordingly."
This is a big season for Holmes, considering how much he'll cost Big Blue next year. His base salary is $3.25 million and he's due to receive two $500,000 bonuses – one for being on the roster, another for reporting. Factor in the one-fifth of his original signing bonus received in 2001 and Holmes will count $5.25 million against the Giants' 2003 cap.