First-year New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen knew he had "some tough decisions" to make to get under the salary cap.
The first tough decision has been made: The Giants are releasing veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph.
The 11-year veteran essentially revealed the news himself on Wednesday via social media, as he thanked fans and ownership for "the opportunity to be a Giant."
The team later announced Rudolph's release along with that of running back Devontae Booker.
With his team roughly $12 million over the salary cap, Schoen's cost-cutting measures begin with cutting Rudolph and Booker.
Booker was a breath of fresh air for the Giants in a trying 2021 campaign as he rushed for 593 yards in four starts and 16 games played, but his exit isn't shocking.
Booker's release saves the team $2.125 million in cap space. Rudolph's departure will clear $5 million, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. As far as arduous decisions for Schoen, it was likely to be the easiest to start with.
Rudolph was cut by the Vikings ahead of the 2021 season following 10 seasons and a pair of Pro Bowl trips with Minnesota. He landed in New York on a two-year deal that the Giants honored despite a standard physical by team doctors revealing a previously unknown foot injury that required surgery.
Rudolph's lone season in Gotham saw him play in 16 games with 13 starts, but he tallied only 26 catches on 39 targets for 257 yards and one touchdown.
What's next for the Giants is likely some tougher roster decisions. What's next for Rudolph is free agency.