The New York Giants ushered in the Weston Richburg era as their likely starting center on Monday, cutting 2014 starter J.D. Walton. Walton was entering the second year of a two-year, $6 million contract. Letting him go saves the Giants $3 million against the 2015 salary cap.
Richburg was drafted as a center in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played exclusively at left guard, though, as the retirement of Chris Snee and the injury to Geoff Schwartz left the Giants short-handed.
Coach Tom Coughlin said during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine that Richburg "would have every opportunity to compete" for the center role. Removing Walton, a six-year veteran, accomplishes that.
Other than Richburg, the Giants have veteran C/G Dallas Reynolds and CFL signee Brett Jones at the center position.
Walton started all 16 games for the Giants in 2014. He compiled the worst Pro Football Focus grade on the offense, a -19.6. Walton's negative run blocking grade of -11.4 was part of the reason the Giants struggled to run the ball.