The Columbus Dispatch

Giants cut WR Golden Tate, LB Dave Mayo in salary cap moves

- Jacob Myers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have cut Golden Tate in a move that clears $6.1 million in salary cap space and says goodbye to a wide receiver who never panned out after signing a $37 million contract as a free agent in 2019.

The 32-year-old Tate confirmed the move in a tweet in which he thanked the organizati­on for its profession­alism, told his former teammates to win the NFC East next season, and thanked the New York City metropolit­an area fans for their support.

Tate was to earn $8.4 million in 2021. Tate had some problems with the Giants. He missed the first four games of 2019 for using a performanc­e enhancer. He had injuries last season and was benched for a game against Washington after complainin­g into an end-zone camera following a touchdown catch against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers that not enough passes were being thrown to him.

He played in 23 games with 14 starts in his two seasons with the Giants. Considerin­g he missed the first four games, the 2019 total was not bad: 49 catches for 676 yards and six touchdowns. Last season was not as good as Tate had 35 catches for 388 yards and two TDS in 12 games.

The Giants also cut inside linebacker David Mayo, who saw his playing time reduced this past season because of injury and the signing of Blake Martinez as a free agent last season. He led New York in special teams tackles (9) in 2020. New York will save $2.3 million cutting Mayo, who started 13 games in 2019 and two last year.

Crew fans making plans to attend games at the new Downtown stadium this summer can expect plenty of opportunit­ies to do so.

While teams around Major League Soccer wait for the league to unveil the 2021 34-game schedule, Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchen­ko said the club is hoping for — but not promising — 13 or 14 of the team’s 17 home league games in 2021 to take place at new Crew Stadium beginning in early July.

“We’re aiming for three to four games in Mapfre (Stadium),” Bezbatchen­ko said Tuesday at the club’s kit reveal event at the new stadium. “I can say that, so the remaining 13, 14 games here. That could change. Don’t hold me to it, but that is the plan as of right now.”

There’s no official opening date yet for the stadium, but Bezbatchen­ko clarified that the project remains on schedule for an opening in perhaps the first week of July.

The full schedule and stadium opening date are expected some time this month.

“We’re focusing on early July, first week of July, working with the league on the schedule,” Bezbatchen­ko said. “Whether or not that’s a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, we don’t know. I wish I could tell, I wish I knew. Our players are asking today.”

The MLS season is scheduled to begin April 17, but the Crew will have played both of its round-of-16 games in Concacaf Champions League before the season begins. The Crew will play at old Crew Stadium — Mapfre is no longer the stadium naming rights sponsor — April 15 against Nicaraguan team Real Esteli FC.

The three to four games Bezbatchen­ko referred to were league games, not other competitio­ns like Champions League. If the Crew advances out of the round of 16, it will host another game at old Crew Stadium between April 27-29.

In the past, MLS has allowed teams to play most of their games on the road due to stadium constructi­on. In 2019, the Portland Timbers played their first 13 games on the road with Providence Park under constructi­on.

MLS teams can give suggestion­s for their preferred schedule, and the Crew would no doubt like to host as many games as possible in the new stadium. Any COVID-19 postponeme­nts could affect scheduling, but it’s likely the Crew will play mostly on the road in April, May and June before the stadium opens.

The roof is completely finished and seat installati­on is currently underway at the 20,000-seat stadium while constructi­on crews work on the field level.

The Crew wants to have an opportunit­y to bring fans inside the stadium and show off the new venue before it opens.

“I just don’t think everyone knows quite yet how different this will be from Mapfre (Stadium),” Bezbatchen­ko said. “And frankly it’s going to be the best in Major League Soccer.”

jmyers@dispatch.com; @_jcmyers

 ?? BRAD PENNER/AP ?? Giants wide receiver Golden Tate, bottom left, talks into a TV camera after scoring a touchdown against the Buccaneers on Nov. 2.
BRAD PENNER/AP Giants wide receiver Golden Tate, bottom left, talks into a TV camera after scoring a touchdown against the Buccaneers on Nov. 2.
 ?? BARBARA J. PERENIC/COLUMBUS DISPATCH ?? Columbus Crew SC unveiled its primary kit for the 2021 season at the New Crew Stadium on Tuesday. The stadium now features some seats, scoreboard­s and tifo rigging.
BARBARA J. PERENIC/COLUMBUS DISPATCH Columbus Crew SC unveiled its primary kit for the 2021 season at the New Crew Stadium on Tuesday. The stadium now features some seats, scoreboard­s and tifo rigging.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA