New York Giants release G Kevin Zeitler in salary cap move

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Facing a salary-cap deficit, the New York Giants have released starting guard Kevin Zeitler.

The Giants announced the move Wednesday, a day after franchising defensive lineman Leonard Williams in a move that will cost the team at least $19.3 million.

Zeitler, who turned 31 Monday, started all 31 games in which he played the past two years, including all 16 last season. He had started 85 straight games before missing a start Dec. 15, 2019 with an ankle injury.

Zeitler was scheduled to make $12 million and have a cap hit of $14.2 million in 2021.

New York has an experienced replacement. Will Hernandez lost his job at left guard last season to rookie Shane Lemieux, so one of them can move to the right side.

Zeitler joined the Giants in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, along with a fifth-round draft choice, for linebacker Olivier Vernon and a fourth-round draft selection on March 13, 2019. He previously played five seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals and two for the Browns.

Zeitler was the Giants’ oldest fulltime starter last season, a designation that might have belonged to tackle Nate Solder had he not opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Solder, who is scheduled to earn $9 million if he decides to play this season, turns 33 next month. He also might be considered a cap move for the Giants, who were approximately $8 million over the $182.5 million cap set earlier Wednesday before releasing Zeitler.

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