Giants defensive back Logan Ryan participates in a drill during training...

Giants defensive back Logan Ryan participates in a drill during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 3, 2021. Credit: Brad Penner

The Giants fired Joe Judge on January 11.

They got rid of his locker room liaison two months later.

Logan Ryan, the Giants safety, defensive captain, and unofficial ambassador of Judge’s philosophies when it came to imparting them on the rest of the team for the past two seasons, was released on Thursday.

Ryan, who signed a three-year extension in December 2020, was due to earn $9.25 million in base salary in 2022. It is clear, though, that this was not a cost-saving maneuver. Unlike the departure of many veterans around the league whose bloated contracts often provide significant salary cap relief once expunged, the Giants will carry $11 million in dead money and save just $775,000 against the cap with this move.

Rather, the decision seems to have been made based thinking that the 31-year-old former cornerback was not a fit for the aggressive nature of the new defense being installed by coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale, the new coaching staff’s belief in younger safeties Xavier McKinney and Julian Love, and the potential to add other players at the position in free agency or perhaps the draft where Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton will be a strong consideration with the fifth or seventh overall picks.

What’s more, the intangibles that made Ryan so valuable to the previous coaching staff no longer applied for the new one.

Ryan came to the Giants as a free agent in the summer of 2020 not only to play on the field but to reinforce the doctrines of then rookie head coach Judge to a potentially skeptical and young roster and flash the Super Bowl rings he had won thanks to that system while he and Judge were together with the Patriots. Head coach Brian Daboll will want his own such players and, along with new general manger Joe Schoen, has already been importing them from their time together in Buffalo in an effort to tweak the organization’s culture.

Newly signed center Jon Feliciano, for example, plays a very different position than Ryan on the field, but will likely have a similar job spreading the gospels of the head coach that makes Ryan a redundancy.

It’s out with the old and in with the new for the Giants across the board, and some lieutenants have to be cleaned out along with the generals.

"The one thing I know about the league is there’s always changes," Ryan said after the team’s final game in January, a loss to Washington.

He was answering in response to a question about Judge’s future with the Giants. It turned out his was tied to it too.

Ryan did give the Giants plenty besides leadership during his two years and was their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee this past season. He started all but one of the 31 games in which he played (that was the 2020 opener which was 10 days after he signed with the team) and during that stretch he totaled a team-high 209 tackles (144 solo) and added 17 passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. Despite missing two games due to COVID in 2021 he finished with a career-high 117 tackles, 77 of them unassisted, which was second most on the team behind linebacker Tae Crowder’s 130.

NOTES & QUOTES: The Giants re-signed T Korey Cunningham Thursday after a brief foray in free agency. Cunningham spent the 2021 season on the Giants’ practice squad and active roster and was a swing tackle for them. He would have started the final game of the season at right tackle in place of the injured Matt Peart but missed the contest due to a positive COVID diagnosis … G Mark Glowinski and QB Tyrod Taylor were both at the Giants’ facility on Thursday to undergo physicals and sign their new contracts with the team.

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