While Saquon Barkley’s days in East Rutherford may ultimately be numbered, his top backup’s time with the organization is officially over. On Wednesday, March 2 the New York Giants announced the release of two veteran players, running back Devontae Booker and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Booker, 29, was a prized free-agent addition last offseason. Viewed by Giants brass as an upgrade over 2020 leading rusher Wayne Gallman, now-former general manager Dave Gettleman deemed Booker a “legitimate three-down running back” shortly after the signing.
During his lone season with the Giants, the Utah product appeared in 16 games, hauling in a career-best 40 receptions and finishing with 593 yards on the ground — tied with Barkley for the team lead. His 4.1 yards per carry average also outpaced Barkley by a near 0.5-yard. Over his four starts as an injury replacement to Barkley, Booker averaged 95.5 yards from scrimmage.
A former fourth-round pick for the Denver Broncos back in 2016, Booker will now seek employment from a fourth team in as many years.
Rudolph Signing Was a Flop
Like Booker, Rudolph’s tenure with the Giants comes to an end after just one season. Expected to add some much-needed consistency to the tight end position behind the enigmatic Evan Engram, Rudolph fell well short of expectations. Hobbled by injuries and poor quarterback play, the former two-time Pro Bowler record a career-worst 26 receptions for 257 yards and just one touchdown.
Rising to prominence during a highly-successful decade run with the Minnesota Vikings, the Notre Dame alumn’s career totals in the NFL check in at 479 receptions for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Giants GM Talks Cap Situation
As we’re all well aware, new general manager Joe Schoen has inherited one of the more difficult roster situations in all of football — not only because of the pure lack of talent, but also the abundance of financial complications attached to it.
Based on the NFL’s projected $208.2 million team salary cap, the Giants have their work cut out to dip below the cap prior to free agency and looming draft pick signings. On March 1, during media availability at the NFL scouting Combine, Schoen touched on these matters, via Giants.com:
The reality of the situation is we have to get under the (salary) cap. We’re over the cap right now. It’s the contingency plans. Literally we have A, B, C, D, E and you gotta wait for the first shoe to fall before you make the next decision, so it’s a great time to be here. I’m excited to be at the combine, I’m glad that everything is back in person. But to get around with the agents of our players and have a face-to-face conversation, be able to meet with other general managers and really get a beat for what everything is going to look like … I’m looking forward to accomplishing a lot this week.
There’s some conversations that need to be had, I’ll say that. We’ve got a detailed plan when we come here and over the next 24 hours, we’ll start moving based on conversations.
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