Giants release veteran wide receiver Golden Tate in cost-cutting move

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Thursday, March 4, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Wide receiver Golden Tatehas been released by the New York Giantsin a cost-cutting move.

"I appreciate the conversations and professionalism the Giants management showed me earlier today," Tate wrote Wednesday on social media. "Always a class-act organization from start to finish, your respect means the world to me and my family."

The move creates $6 million in cap space for the Giants, $10 million if he is designated a post-June 1 cut. Tate was to make $8.5 million and count $11 million against the salary cap in 2021.

The Giants also cut veteran linebacker David Mayo on Wednesday. Mayo underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee last August but returned and played in 11 games this past season.

Tate, 32, caught 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns last season. It was his least productive season since his rookie year, in part because he missed four games and started just four, serving as the Giants' third receiver behind Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.

The lack of playing time and opportunities led to some frustration following a prime-time loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2. Tate was caught on camera yelling, "Throw me the ball!" after his spectacular leaping touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter to put the Giants in position to tie the score.

His wife, Elise, posted that night on Instagram about Tate's lack of opportunities, and Tate later liked a tweet that suggested he should be cut and given an opportunity to sign elsewhere.

Tate did not travel with the team to the following week's game against the Washington Football Team, but Giants coach Joe Judge was extremely complimentary of Tate's team-first approach for the remainder of the season.

Tate also got into a fistfight on the field with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey following an early-season matchup.

The Giants signed Tate to a four-year deal worth $36.3 million with $22.95 million guaranteed after trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019.

Tate has played 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Giants, making a Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl as one of the league's most productive receivers.

The former Notre Dame star has 695 career catches for 8,278 yards and 46 receiving touchdowns. He's also tied for first in yards after the catch (4,248) with Antonio Brown since entering the league in 2010.