It might be disappointing for New York Giants fans who recall the contribution linebacker Michael Boley made to their 2011-12 Super Bowl run, but it is not a surprise that the Giants released Boley on Tuesday. He did not start any of their final three games in 2012 and, after a serious dropoff in performance, saw a reduction in playing time as the season went along. He was due $4.25 million in 2013 and the Giants have (a) salary-cap concerns, and (b) young linebackers they believe should be ready for more playing time. Jacquian Williams jumps out as the player most likely to take over Boley's role.
Last month, ESPN's John Clayton wrote that the Giants were expected to be about $4.7 million over this year's projected salary cap. In order to clear the room they'll need to try and re-sign players such as Kenny Phillips, Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe, and pursue upgrades elsewhere on the roster, they are likely to cut some more veterans this offseason. Possibilities range from cornerback Corey Webster to defensive tackle Chris Canty to offensive lineman David Diehl and even, possibly to core players such as running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive end Justin Tuck, though those last two seem unlikely.
With all of the linebackers the Giants brought in as rookies in 2011 about to head into their third seasons, the writing was on the wall for Boley. But he could be just the first of many familiar Giants faces who end up looking elsewhere for work this offseason.