As the New York Giants begin trimming some fat in order to get under the salary cap before free agency gets rolling, the Tuesday release of starting weak-side linebacker Michael Boley only made sense.
The Giants immediately save $3.1 million in cap space by cutting a man who will turn 31 before next season. The eight-year veteran has had some good performances, but he's coming off what was by far his worst season since joining the Giants in 2009, and third-year outside linebacker Jacquian Williams might be a more capable starter at this point.
Williams turns 25 this summer and is slated to make just over half a million dollars in 2013. They could also bring back Keith Rivers on the cheap and will likely look to use a draft pick or two on rangy linebackers who can help a defense that struggled against the run in 2012.
Boley finished third on the team with 92 tackles but he also missed as many tackles as he had the previous two seasons and was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the fourth-worst 4-3 outside linebacker in the league (108th out of 111), due mainly to the fact that he struggled against the run while being nonexistent as a pass-rusher.
Both advanced stats and the eyeball test indicate Boley's already in decline. Injuries, and wear and tear certainly factor in, but the Giants weren't getting a positive ROI with him anymore.