We reported earlier Tuesday that linebacker Michael Boley has been released by the New York Giants. This was really not a surprise, and it's likely just the first domino in a revamping of a defensive unit that simply did not get the job done in 2012.
The Giants were, and likely still are, over the salary cap before releasing Boley. The veteran linebacker was due $4.25 million in salary for 2013, which the Giants will now save. Whatever the salary cap math actually is the Giants are closer to being under the cap now that they have cut ties with Boley.
Salary cap reasons aside, releasing the 30-year-old Boley was the right thing to do. The Giants need to get better at linebacker, and part of that is allowing Jacquian Williams to play the weakside full time. Heading into his third season, Williams has the speed, athleticism and ability to handle backs and tight ends in pass coverage, and the size at 240 pounds to hold up against the run.
The question now is how many more dominoes will fall on the Giants' defense? Safety Kenny Phillips is an unrestricted free agent and you wonder how hard the Giants will try to keep him. Osi Umenyiora is another unrestricted free agent, and he seems almost certain to seek a starting job elsewhere. Middle linebacker Chase Blackburn is another UFA.
Veterans Corey Webster and defensive tackle Chris Canty could be in jeopardy as the Giants look to improve their defense. Right now, only general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin really know which veterans they see as part of the solution.
All we know, really, is that it seems unlikely that Boley will be the only casualty as the Giants try to improve their defense.