Giants release former Pro Bowler Arrington

Updated: February 13, 2007, 9:21 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants released linebacker LaVar Arrington and two other starters Monday in the first major shake-up under new general manager Jerry Reese.

LaVar Arrington
Arrington

New York also cut linebacker Carlos Emmons and offensive tackle Luke Petitgout, both of whom were slowed by injuries over the last two seasons.

The release of Arrington ended a brief and unsatisfying tenure with the Giants for the former Pro Bowler, who was signed last year for $49 million over seven years but suffered an Achilles injury against Dallas on Oct. 23 and played in only six games.

"LaVar's situation is unfortunate because he was just starting to really become a factor in our defense at the time of his injury," Reese said.

Reese, who last month replaced the retired Ernie Accorsi, served notice that he will not stand pat with a team that won the NFC East in 2005 but was humiliated in a first-round playoff loss to Carolina, then squeaked into the playoffs last season with an 8-8 record and again lost in the first round.

"These are difficult decisions," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "But as Jerry and I looked at the roster, they are decisions we felt we had to make as we start to compose our team for the upcoming season."

Combined with the retirement of running back Tiki Barber, the Giants now have additional salary-cap space to pursue free agents this offseason. Emmons had two years remaining on a five-year contract worth $16.5 million and was to make $2 million this year, and Petitgout had two years left on his contract and was due $5 million for 2007.

Arrington, whose contract was filled with incentives, was scheduled to make $900,000 next season.

Petitgout started 106 games at tackle and guard over eight seasons for the Giants, but broke his leg against Chicago on Nov. 12 and missed the Giants' final seven games. He became expendable when guard David Diehl switched to left tackle and played well in his absence.

Dumping Petitgout's contract could give the Giants a better shot at re-signing free-agent center Shaun O'Hara.

Emmons, acquired from Philadelphia in 2004, played in 36 games in three seasons but missed a total of 11 games in the last two seasons with a pectoral injury.

Calls to the agents for all three players were not immediately returned Monday evening.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press