kyle rudolph
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kyle Rudolph Era in East Rutherford has concluded.

It’s that time of year again.

The Giants, who are in salary cap hell, have begun making players cap casualties in order to clear some money off the books.

The first player up: veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Former Giants general manager Dave Gettleman signed Rudolph to a two-year, $12 million deal last offseason. Kyle will hit free agency for the second time in as many years.

Financial impact

Spotract projected the Giants to be nearly $12 million over the cap for the 2022 season, which meant Joe Schoen and co. needed to make various cap-friendly moves before even thinking about inking deals in free agency.

According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, cutting Rudolph saves the Giants $5 million in cap space, making the release all the more reasonable.

It’s the first of the cap casualties, and it certainly won’t be the last. There’s a chance the Giants could add Blake Martinez, Sterling Shepard, and others to this list in order to clear space.

Roster outlook

It’s unclear how the tight end room will look when the 2022 regular season commences.

Evan Engram‘s contract is expiring and it would be a mistake to retain the five-year player, given his various on-field mistakes and potential asking price in a new deal.

Kaden Smith has one year remaining on his contract but could additionally be a cap casualty (his release would save the Giants $2.54 million in space).

Chris Myarick, on the other hand, just signed a one-year deal to be back with the Giants and he’ll compete for a roster spot later this year.

Draft considerations

While I think the Giants should seek an established tight end in free agency to assist in the development of Daniel Jones, there’s a chance they target one in the middle rounds of the upcoming draft.

Prospects to keep an eye on are Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert. The former has incredible size at 6-foot-6, 252 pounds and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection each of the last three seasons.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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Ryan Honey is a senior NFL analyst, betting writer, and podcaster for Elite Sports NY. He hosts the Wide Right Podcast, which serves as both a New York Giants podcast and sports betting show.