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Rashad Jennings Released by Giants: Latest Comments and Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Rashad Jennings #23 of the New York Giants runs the ball against Carlos Dunlap #96 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 14, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Giants announced the release of running back Rashad Jennings on Monday. The move will clear $2.5 million in cap space for the Giants, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.

The move comes on the same day as veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz was also released by the team. The combined moves saved the Giants $10 million in cap space, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

"Rashad is a pro's pro, on and off the field," general manager Jerry Reese said in the press release. "He came to work every day and did everything we asked him to do, and always worked extra to get better at his craft."

Jennings told Michael Eisen of Giants.com: 

It's an honor to play here, playing for a team that has so much history, a team that falls under great leadership and high character. In the mecca of everything, the relationships I've built are priceless. The people, the fans, teammates, ownership, I’ve been blessed to play with the Giants and see that side of the NFL. I have nothing but good things to say."

Jennings, 31, rushed for just 593 yards and three touchdowns in 2016, adding 35 receptions for 201 yards and another score. But he split time in the backfield with the younger and more impressive Paul Perkins, who was more explosive and efficient (Perkins averaged 4.1 yards per carry, compared to Jennings' 3.3) and is clearly the future at the position for the Giants.

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Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus shared another disappointing stat for Jennings from the past season: 

Nathan Jahnke @PFF_NateJahnke

Rashad Jennings getting released by the Giants. He had a disappointing 2016 season after a decent 2015 one. https://t.co/4XWAQqDTTB

Quite simply, Jennings never established himself as a true feature back after signing a four-year, $14 million contract with the Giants in 2014, rushing for just 2,095 yards and 10 touchdowns in his three seasons with the team.

So for New York, cutting Jennings was logical. The team could add a complementary running back to Perkins in the draft, while moving on from Jennings gave the team valuable cap space this offseason.

Jennings may resurface with another team this offseason, but he'll likely be doing so to provide depth as a No. 2 or No. 3 option. 

"I know me and my skill set that I bring to the table," Jennings said. "I have more football left in me. I'm a vet, a leader, a motivator...can do anything. I finished the league in the top five in pass protection. I can catch out the backfield, run the ball, play special teams, and I want to win the championship. Yes, I have more football left."

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