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.
.@Giants Fans thanks for taking me and my family in this past year! Certainly not the year any of us expected, but a year we will never forget.. We're appreciative of the Mara and Tisch Families for giving us the opportunity to be a Giant. pic.twitter.com/HSZzGGTXRI
— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph) March 2, 2022
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.
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.
Kyle Rudolph announced he's being released by the Giants. The first domino to fall is the easiest and most obvious. Giants create $5M in cap savings, while eating $2.4M in dead money. Paid Rudolph $7M for 26 catches, 257 yards and 1 TD.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) March 2, 2022
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.
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.
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