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Reports: Giants not exercising option on Antoine Bethea

Letting the free safety walk saves New York $2.75 million in cap space

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

After spending money to acquire players in the beginnings of free agency, the New York Giants have moved forward to releasing athletes in order to save cap space.

Free safety Antoine Bethea will be let go, according to multiple reports that began circulating Wednesday morning.

It is no surprise to see Bethea exit as he had a disappointing season for New York in 2019. He finished with 139 total tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups. But the numbers do not tell the full story as Bethea was often out of position, particularly on deep passes, resulting in the Giants’ secondary having some of the worst numbers in protection. They finished sixth-worst in the league in covering passes of 20-plus yards and third-worst in covering passing plays of over 40 yards.

With former defensive coordinator James Bettcher no longer in the picture, it further substantiates the decision to let Bethea go. The 35-year-old was set to make $2.875 million against the cap in 2020. By not picking up his option, the Giants save $2.75 million in cap space in 2020 and incur a minimal $125,000 in dead money.