The Columbus Dispatch
Giants cut WR Golden Tate, LB Dave Mayo in salary cap moves
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 confirmed 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 first 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 first 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 official opening date yet for the stadium, but Bezbatchenko clarified that the project remains on schedule for an opening in perhaps the first week of July.
The full schedule and stadium opening date are expected some time this month.
“We’re focusing on early July, first 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 first 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 affect 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 finished and seat installation is currently underway at the 20,000-seat stadium while construction crews work on the field 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 different this will be from Mapfre (Stadium),” Bezbatchenko said. “And frankly it’s going to be the best in Major League Soccer.”