The New York Giants have informed receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo as they begin to clear away salary cap space ahead of the start of free agency on March 17, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The moves, which are expected, will clear away a little more than $8.447 million in salary-cap space.
The Giants signed Tate during the 2019 off-season to a four-year deal worth $37.5 million, not long after New York traded away Odell Beckham Jr. However, his tenure in New York was tumultuous.
Tate's first season in New York saw him land a four-game league-imposed suspension for violating the league's policy on PEDs.
Last year, he ran afoul of head coach Joe Judge's mandate of putting the team ahead of self when Tate openly lobbied for more pass targets during a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.
Tate's actions reportedly earned him a lecture from Judge and a demotion to the scout team, cumulating in him being a healthy scratch the following weekend when the Giants played the Washington Football Team.
Statistically speaking, Tate, whose bread and butter was always the yards after the catch, saw those numbers dive. According to Pro Football Focus, Tate recorded just 79 yards after the catch on 35 receptions, a career-low.
Tate, who was also known for his contested catch ability, also saw that number dip. Although he saw a reduction in his pass targets, he still caught just nine contested balls last season, down from the 19 he recorded in his first season with the Giants.
Tate's presence on the roster also meant he took up more of the slot snaps away from Sterling Shepard, who had made his NFL mark and earned his contract extension playing in the slot. Over the last two seasons, Tate played over 84.3% of his snaps in the slot.
He finished his rocky Giants tenue with 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tate's release results in a $6.147 million cap savings with $4.705 million landing in the dead money column.
Mayo, who joined the Giants off waivers in 2019 from the 49ers, appeared in 11 games last year for the Giants after missing the first five while recovering from knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He participated in 17.7% of the Giants' defensive snaps, logging 20 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble.
Mayo’s value to the Giants was more on special teams, where he played 50.2% of the snaps.
Last off-season, Mayo signed a three-year contract last year worth $8.4 million with $3.5 million guaranteed. As his deal did not have a signing bonus, the Giants will clear $2.3 million on the transaction with no dead money hitting the cap.
According to Over the Cap, the Giants were projected to have just $486,453 of salary cap space based on a $180.5 million projected salary cap.
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