The first day of football business after an accord on a new collective bargaining agreement included some unhappy — but necessary — developments at the Giants’ offices.
While general manager Jerry Reese was agreeing to terms with undrafted free agents such as inspirational Boston College linebacker and cancer survivor Mark Herzlich, plans were also made to release starting guard Rich Seubert and starting center Shaun O’Hara.
The two won’t be released until Thursday, the first day teams can begin trimming veterans to get under the $120.375 million salary cap. The cuts will save Big Blue nearly $4 million at a time when the team is about $6 million over the cap.
Seubert, whom the general manager called “the MVP” last season for his seamless move from guard to center in the wake of injuries to O’Hara and Adam Koets, is the toughest cut. After a career-threatening leg fracture in 2003 against the Eagles, he returned to become the team’s most consistent offensive lineman.
A dislocated knee and stretched ligaments in the 2010 finale against the Redskins necessitated surgery, however, and the 32-year-old Seubert could not pass a physical.
O’Hara, 34, was also waylaid by injuries and underwent surgery on his Achilles tendon and ankle. Both could be re-signed when they’re healthy at a lesser price tag.
Shawn Andrews, the offensive tackle beset by back issues, could be the next to go with a $7 million salary-cap figure. That would bring the Giants far enough under the cap to at least consider re-signing some of their 15 unrestricted free agents, such as running back Ahmad Bradshaw, tight end Kevin Boss and wideout Steve Smith.
Herzlich, who beat a form of bone cancer through intensive chemotherapy to come back and star for BC, was signed on the “suggestion” of Boston College alum John Mara, the Giants’ president and CEO.
“He’s a great kid who’s been through a lot,” Mara said. We think of him as being a prospect.