The New York Giants re-tooling of began yesterday with the release of linebacker Michael Boley. Boley was brought in as a free agent back in 2009, and was an big part of the defense throughout his tenure with the Giants. At times he was the only linebacker that they could truly count on in pass coverage against opposing running backs and tight ends. So why was he cut and what does it mean going forward?
Well, he was due to make $4.7 million next year and it appears the Giants didn’t feel like he was worth that cap number. Secondly, he rode the bench for most of the last three games. He only had a combined eight tackles in those last three contests. The team is in a bit of a salary cap pickle and had to decide where to pick and choose to keep guys as as opposed to others.
The release of Boley also means the possibility that the team has a completely different starting linebacker unit, as Chase Blackburn and Keith Rivers are also free agents. The team may look to go with younger guys like Jacquain Williams and Mark Herzlich, but to me, the only one who could start is Williams. When given a chance to play, Herzlich has looked slow both speed and reaction wise.
There is no question that the linebacker corps needed to be retooled. There are other areas as well that Jerry Reese needs to work on, but we’ll get to that later this week. For now, the Giant off-season begins with a move that was coming. What else they do remains to be determined.