EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Wide receiver Golden Tate was released by the New York Giants in a cost-cutting measure, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
The measure creates $ 6 million in salary cap space for the Giants, $ 10 million if a cut after June 1 is designated. Tate was to make $ 8.5 million and count $ 11 million against the salary cap in 2021.
The Giants also released veteran linebacker David Mayo on Wednesday, a source told ESPN, confirming a report from the NFL Network. Mayo had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee last August, but came back and played in 11 games last season.
The 32-year-old Tate caught 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns last season. It was his least productive season since his rookie year, in part because he missed four games and started just four, serving as the Giants’ third wide receiver behind Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.
Lack of time and playing opportunities created some frustration after a primetime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2. Tate was caught on camera yelling, “Throw me the ball!” after his spectacular jump touchdown, he grabbed at the end of the fourth quarter to put the Giants in position to tie the score.
His wife, Elise, posted that night on Instagram about Tate’s lack of opportunities, and then Tate liked a tweet that suggested he should be cut off and give him a chance to sign elsewhere.
Tate did not travel with the team to the following week’s game against the Washington soccer team, but Giants coach Joe Judge was extremely appreciative of Tate’s focus on the team first for the rest of the season.
Tate also fought down the field with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey after a showdown earlier in the season.
The Giants signed Tate for four years worth $ 36.3 million with $ 22.95 million guaranteed after trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019.
Tate has played 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Giants, making a Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl as one of the most productive receivers in the league.
The former Notre Dame star has 695 career receptions for 8,278 yards and 46 receiving touchdowns. He’s also tied for first in yards after catch (4,248) with Antonio Brown since entering the league in 2010.