Kevin Zeitler has joined the list of this year's salary cap casualties. The Giants released the veteran offensive guard on Wednesday, clearing $9.6 million in cap space ahead of the start of the league's new year.
The 27th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zeitler spent his first five seasons with the Bengals before signing a five-year, $60 million contract with the Browns that made him the NFL's highest-paid guard. After two years in Cleveland, the Browns traded Zeitler, Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks to the Giants in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon.
Zeitler, who turned 31 years old earlier this week, started in each of his 31 games with the Giants. While he will likely take a pay cut, Zeitler should receive interest on the open market. The Panthers, Bears, Cowboys, Packers, Vikings, Seahawks, and Washington are currently teams that are looking to improve their offensive lines before the start of the 2021 season.
Earlier this week, the Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams but will continue to work on signing him to a long-term deal. The two sides have until 4 p.m. ET on July 15 to come to terms on a multi-year contract.
Offensive line, EDGE and receiver are three positions the Giants are specifically looking to address this offseason. The Giants are expected to use the 11th overall pick on either a receiver or an EDGE rusher. Among their possible options are former Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle, former Florida receiver Kadarius Toney, former Miami EDGE rusher Gregory Rousseau, and former Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye.