INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Rudolph said his goodbyes Wednesday, announcing on social media what was made official a few hours later: He became one of the first of what will be several salary cap casualties as new general manager Joe Schoen pares the roster to get the Giants’ financial house in order.
Rudolph’s release saves the Giants $5 million on the 2022 salary cap and will count $2.4 million in dead money.
The Giants also made another expected cut, parting ways with running back Devontae Booker after only one year. Booker was scheduled to count $3.1 million on the cap and his release saves $2.1 million on the 2022 cap.
Booker, 29, matched Saquon Barkley for the team rushing lead with 593 yards — Booker got there with 17 fewer rushing attempts.
There will be plenty more to follow: Releases, salary cuts and perhaps trades to add cap space.
“The reality of the situation is we have to get under the cap,” Schoen said on Tuesday. “We’re over the cap right now. It’s the contingency plans. Literally we have A, B, C, D, E and you gotta wait for the first shoe to fall before you make the next decision.”
The first shoe to fall was Rudolph, 32, signed to a two-year contract worth $12 million. The former Giants front office believed the 10-year veteran had something left in the tank after a decade with the Vikings. Rudolph arrived with a foot issue that needed surgery and slowed his acclimation. He never gained any traction with his new team, playing in all 16 games (13 starts) but contributing only 26 receptions for 257 yards. He was supposed to be a major threat in the red zone — that is where 41 of his 48 career touchdowns came from with the Vikings. Rudolph managed to get only one touchdown for the Giants.
The Giants entered this month about $12 million over the cap. Schoen said he wants to clear $40 million in cap space.
Rudolph was signed last year to a two-year contract worth $12 million and was scheduled to count $7.4 million on the 2022 cap. He posted a farewell message on his Twitter account:
“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.
“Thanks to everyone in the building who took in and helped this old guy who needed to relearn everything about a new organization.. Finally my teammates, in my 11 years in this league I’m not sure I’ve been around a closer group of guys!’’