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Giants release former Pro Bowler Arrington

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.