It was reported on Wednesday evening that the New York Giants would be releasing veteran wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo. New York was sitting around $1 million in cap space before these moves, and are now near the $10 million mark just before free agency begins in under two weeks. With these moves, the Giants will save approximately $8.5 million in cap space, but will eat $4.7 million in dead cap space for Tate. Here is a rundown of both players’ careers with Big Blue.
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
New York Giants Release Golden Tate and David Mayo
Golden Tate is considered a failed experiment by many Giants fans. Tate was signed just one day after the team decided to trade star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. He signed a 4 year, $37.5 million contract with around $23 million guaranteed.
Tate’s first year in New York started out rough, he was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season due to violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Nevertheless, Tate put up solid numbers in 2019, hauling in 49 passes for 676 yards and six touchdowns. He became a safety blanket for then-rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, making tough catches in traffic and overall a reliable target. While those were solid numbers, it was not exactly what Dave Gettleman was hoping for in terms of top wide receiver production. Tate was hoped to be the replacement for Beckham Jr., but did not even come close.
2020 was an interesting year between the two parties. In Week 4 against the Los Angeles Rams, Tate and star cornerback Jalen Ramsey got into a brawl post-game. The on-field incident stemmed from off-field issues when Ramsey left Tate’s sister for another woman. Despite whether he was right or wrong, the Giants at the time had just lost their fourth straight game and fell to 0-4 to start the season. Having a fist fight after the game concluded was completely unnecessary.
Another wrinkle in the 2020 season came after Tate’s late-game touchdown in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Tate was seen saying, “throw me the ball,” into the camera. All of the drama led to head coach Joe Judge deciding that the disgruntled receiver would not make the trip to Washington in Week 9. Tate later apologized for his actions and causing a distraction to the team.
“If you know me, if you know my game, I play with a lot of emotion, a lot of passion,” Tate said. “I just got caught up in the moment. I was wrong to draw attention to myself. I take full responsibility for that. I handled it the wrong way and, again, brought negative attention to our organization. It was something that won’t happen again.”
Tate finished the 2020 season with 35 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns. His final stats with the Giants are 84 catches for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns. Another failed signing.
David Mayo was signed by the Giants right before the beginning of the 2019 season. He recorded solid numbers, totaling 80 tackles, five tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Mayo was rewarded with a three year, $8.4 million deal. Unfortunately for Mayo, he would only appear in 11 games in 2020, and pretty much lost most of the playing time that he enjoyed in 2019.
Last Word on Cuts
These two cuts are just the tip of the iceberg. The Giants will still need to create more room if they want to at least be competitive in free agency. More releases and possible restructures will follow soon, as free agency begins on March 17th.
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