Let the cap casualties begin! In arguably the least surprising news that will come about this offseason, the New York Giants have informed wide receiver Golden Tate of his release, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move creates $6.1 million in cap space for the Giants as they look to maneuver money ahead of the new league year. Joining Tate on the open market will be linebacker David Mayo, who is also set to be released.
The #Giants have begun making cuts, informed WR Golden Tate and LB David Mayo of their releases, source said. No surprise, but now official.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 3, 2021
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One of the Worst Decisions of Dave Gettleman’s Tenure in NY?
Signed as a corresponding move to help supplement some of the production lost by trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns in 2019, Tate may very well go down as one of Dave Gettleman’s most colossal fails as Giants general manager.
Despite a fairly solid showing during his first season in East Rutherford, Tate never came close to living up to his hefty $37.5 million contract ($22 million guaranteed). After finishing second on the team in both receiving yards (676) and receiving touchdowns (six) in 2019, Tate took a massive step back under a new regime in 2020. Tate, a former Pro Bowler whose recorded 90-plus receptions in four different seasons over his NFL career, was delegated to spot duty this past year. Totaling just four starts, the 32-year-old finished with his least prolific statistical season since 2012.
Making matters worse, Tate took part in a bizarre multi-day fiasco where he and his wife publically voiced their displeasure over the receiver’s playing time, leading to a one-game benching. Furthermore, he was involved in a postgame altercation with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and was suspended four games the year prior for a positive PED test.
Overall, Tate appeared in 23 games over his two-year stint with the Giants, hauling in 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns.
Moving off of Tate likely opens the door for fellow wideout Sterling Shepard to return to a more slot-centric role. Beyond Shepard, look for former 49ers second-round pick Dante Pettis to battle for playing time in 2021. An in-season addition a season ago, Pettis showed promise down the stretch.
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Mayo Exceeded Expectations with Giants
While Tate could be perceived as an epic blunder on behalf of Gettleman, Mayo was the complete opposite. A former fifth-round pick of Gettleman’s during his Carolina days, the linebacker was signed by the Giants in early September of 2019. Perceived as nothing more than a depth addition, Mayo quickly worked his way into a prominent role along Big Blue’s front seven.
The former Texas State standout appeared in all 16 games for the team in 2019, drawing 13 starts and notching career-highs in tackles (82), tackles for loss (five) and sacks (two). Mayo’s performance earned him a three-year, $8.4 million contract extension this past offseason.
Unfortunately, Mayo’s 2020 campaign did not get off on the right foot. He suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in training camp which landed him on injured reserve for the first five games of the year.
When he returned to the lineup, Mayo found himself operating behind a slew of youngsters at the linebacker position, namely Tae Crowder. The team did attempt to deploy Mayo as a situational edge defender at points in the season, but had very little success doing so.
The 27-year-old finished with just 29 tackles and two tackles for loss in 2020. By releasing Mayo, the team saves $2.1 million in cap space.
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