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The New York Giants have decided to release center David Baas, two sources told ESPN.com on Monday.
Baas has been the Giants' starting center since signing as a free agent from the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, but he has struggled to stay fully healthy, and his 2013 season ended early as a result of a neck injury.
The decision to release Baas likely indicates the Giants believe, based on the conversations they've had with agents over the past three days, that they will be able to sign a free-agent center to replace him. Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith and New Orleans' Brian De La Puente are two free-agent centers in whom the Giants have expressed interest.
It's unclear whether Baas will be an outright release or whether the team will designate him a June 1 cut. The latter would make more sense, as the Giants would save $5 million against this year's salary cap if they went that route, and only $1.775 million by making the cut effective Monday.
Baas will become a free agent right away -- the only difference would be that the Giants wouldn't be able to use the cap savings until June 2. That's not a major issue for them, as they have plenty of cap space with which to operate when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Baas started 11 regular-season games and all four postseason games for the Giants in 2011, including their Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots. He started 16 games in 2012 despite nagging injuries but only three in 2013. The Giants have identified offensive line as a priority this offseason and intend to get younger and better there.
One of the sources said the Giants also were close to announcing a new two-year deal for free-agent cornerback Trumaine McBride and a new contract for kicker Josh Brown.