Ahmad Bradshaw was widely regarded as the toughest player with the New York Giants, making his release Wednesday a hard decision for the team.
But the Giants are looking to reduce payroll and so Bradshaw, the starting running back, and starting defensive tackle Chris Canty are the latest victims.
Tuesday, linebacker Michael Boley was cut. And more casualties are likely to follow.
Bradshaw was set to make $3.75 million in base salary this season and had two seasons remaining on his contract. Canty was going to make $6.25 million in base salary this coming season and also had two years left on his deal. On Tuesday, the Giants waived Boley, who was due $4.25 million in base salary.
“I saw it coming, because of the money,” Bradshaw told ESPN. “Everything is about money I guess, so, yes, I was expecting it. I’m not discouraged at all. I’m just looking toward getting healthy and working with somebody else. That is all I can do. The Giants fans will always be remembered and always be loved. This is where I started and I just want to thank everybody for their support. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.”
The Giants were projected by ESPN to be $4.7 million over the salary cap for 2013, and the team has to create space to try to keep their own free agents like Will Beatty, and restricted free agents Victor Cruz, Stevie Brown and Andre Brown.
At 26, Bradshaw, despite foot injuries, rushed for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns last season. But the Giants finished 9-7 and did not make the playoffs – a year after winning the 2011 Super Bowl.
“Pound for pound, Bradshaw is one of the toughest football players that I’ve been around,” General Manager Jerry Reese said in a statement released by the team. “Ahmad played football like Giants football should be played.”