Tight against the cap, the New York Giants released Mathias Kiwanuka according to NFL media’s Kimberly Jones report. Kiwanuka who was at high risk of being a cap casualty due to his knee injury recorded just 2.5 sacks this past season.
Kiwanuka was the Giants first round draft pick in 2006. He was a valuable member of both Super Bowl runs in the Tom Coughlin era. In his time with the Giants he had 412 tackles, 12 forced fumbles and 38.5 sacks. His best statistical season was in 2008 when he had 8 sacks and had 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.
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Kiwanuka also won an Ed Block Courage Award in 2011. He only played in 11 games in 2014, which was his least productive season. While Giants fans may be saddened to see the long time Giant defensive end be released, they likely saw this coming.
The Giants are expected to use the franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul which would be a dramatic cap hit in 2015. The Giants could not count on production from Kiwanuka next season, despite the likely probability that Kiwanuka would be healthy at the beginning of the season.
Kiwanuka’s contract had been restructured in 2013. The Giants deemed that his cap hit for 2015 would not match the level of his play. Thus is life in the NFL, a business not defined by sentimental value but by performance and the cold reality of the salary cap.