The Giants are moving on from veteran safety Antoine Bethea as they chose not to pick up his 2020 contract option, as first reported by Dan Duggan of The Athletic.
Bethea spent just one season with the Giants after being brought in because of his familiarity with working under former defensive coordinator James Bettcher while in Arizona with the Cardinals.
Starting all 16 games, the 35-year-old recorded 110 combined tackles with one interception and two fumble recoveries. But he struggled mightily in pass protection as one of the litanies of issues that plagued the Giants’ sub-par secondary.
With Bettcher out following the purge of Pat Shurmur’s staff, the decision to cut ties with Bethea wasn’t a surprising one as GM Dave Gettleman and new head coach, Joe Judge, attempt to revamp a team that went 4-12 last year.
The Giants will save $3 million with this move and won’t absorb any dead money in the process.
Gettleman has had a busy few days of free agency already as the Giants agreed to terms on deals with cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez.
Following those two notable moves and the departure of Bethea, the Giants have approximately $26.5 million in cap space remaining this offseason.
Of that remaining amount, roughly $12.8 million will be allocated toward the incoming rookie pool, which is headlined by the No. 4 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Now the Giants will also be in the market for a free safety while having to address other pressing needs such as bolstering the offensive line and revamping the pass rush.