Needing to get under the salary cap, the Giants made their first notable cut on Wednesday as they parted ways with veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph.
The 32-year-old confirmed the reports on his social media pages.
“Giants fans thanks for taking me and my family in this past year,” he wrote. “Certainly not the year any of us expected, but a year we will never forget. We’re appreciative of the Mara and Tisch families for giving us the opportunity to be a Giant.”
Rudolph signed a two-year, $12 million deal before the start of the 2021 season — a number the Giants agreed to continue paying even after it was discovered a foot injury that required surgery. It kept him out for most of training camp and hindered his performance during what became his only year with New York.
Over 16 games, he reeled in 26 receptions for 257 yards and one touchdown — his worst output since his rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011. Granted, he was listed behind Evan Engram as the team’s main pass-catching tight end.
By cutting Rudolph, the Giants save $5 million while incurring a $2.4 million dead cap penalty. But now they will be in the market for a new starting tight end with Engram likely to leave in free agency.
The Giants have a long way to go to get in a good financial position, though. They are still roughly $18 million over the cap with Rudolph’s contract off the books and Schoen has suggested a desire to shed as much as $40 million in total to help rebuild the Giants. That means a bevy of cuts and potential trades are heading Big Blue’s way in the coming days.
“We’re still meeting probably… into [Wednesday],” Schoen said at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “It’s kind of if this happens then this [will happen]. There’s a lot of contingency plans that weigh on some of the decisions that we’re going to make.
“We’re getting together with some of the agents of the players on our current roster and starting some initial conversations. Sooner than later, we’ll start making the necessary moves to get under the salary cap and start planning for the 2022 season.”