A year after inking him to a two-year, $6MM contract, the Giants have parted ways with center J.D. Walton, releasing him today, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Walton had been slated for a $3.625MM cap hit in 2015, so the move creates $3MM in cap savings, leaving $625K in dead money on the team’s books.
The signing of Walton looked like a curious move for the Giants a year ago, considering he was coming off consecutive seasons that had been wiped out by major injuries. The 27-year-old did manage to stay healthy in 2014, starting all 16 games for New York and playing 1,145 offensive snaps, the most of any center, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Of course, PFF’s data also suggested that Walton’s overall play wasn’t particularly good. The former Bronco ranked as the league’s 38th-best center out of 41 qualified players, recording below-average grades as both a pass blocker and a run blocker.
With Walton out of the picture, second-year lineman Weston Richburg is poised to take over the center job in New York.