Golden Tate and David Mayo will be released by the Giants, a source confirmed, saving the team a combined $8.4 million against the still-not-finalized 2021 salary cap. ESPN and NFL Network first reported that the team had informed the players of the decision. The moves will become official at some point in the coming days. Both players had two years remaining on their contracts.
Tate, 32, signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal with $23 million guaranteed with the Giants two years ago to help them replace Odell Beckham Jr. He had a productive first season with the team that included six touchdowns but saw his opportunities and numbers diminish in 2020. Tate’s wife expressed displeasure with the way he was being used on social media and Tate yelled "throw me the damn ball" at the Giants’ sideline during a Nov. 2 loss to the Buccaneers, all of which led to Tate running afoul of rookie head coach Joe Judge. Tate was benched for one game and later apologized publicly.
"My actions were unacceptable, and I apologized to the team, the GM, the coaches, the offense," Tate said in November.
His legacy with the Giants also includes his missing the first four games of 2019 serving a suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance and his role in a postgame altercation with Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey following the Giants’ game against that team in October.
Tate’s release will save the Giants $6.1 million against this year’s salary cap and $6 million against the 2022 number.
Mayo played with the Giants in 2019 on a one-year deal and signed a three-year, $8.4 million contract with $3.4 million guaranteed a year ago. He missed the early part of 2020 with a knee injury and when he returned for the final 11 games was often asked to play out of position as an outside linebacker. His release saves $2.3 million off the 2021 cap and $2.55 million off the following year’s.