Giants cut ties with Antonio Pierce

A. Pierce.jpgThe New York Giants’ defensive housecleaning is picking up steam.

A month after defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan was let go, the team cut defensive captain Antonio Pierce Thursday, according to Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger.

The move will come as a surprise to Pierce.  “With everything I gave New York the past five years, I feel I’ll be here,” he said in December.

But NFL teams don’t pay on past performance and Pierce’s salary ($4.75 million) was tough for the Giants to absorb considering his declining play and health questions.  Pierce missed the final seven games of the 2009 season with a bulging disc in his neck.

Pierce lobbied for a pay raise the last two offseasons, and the Giants look very wise in retrospect to ignore him.

Pierce’s production declined after the team’s Super Bowl run, but he still proved to be a fantastic free agent acquisition by Ernie Accorsi in 2005 from the Redskins.  The team is expected to confirm Pierce’s release Thursday afternoon. 

30 responses to “Giants cut ties with Antonio Pierce

  1. He had a very serious spine injury, may never play again. Not really a defensive housecleaning, more like releasing a guy that probably couldnt play for them anyway.

  2. A ray of hope has just covered the snow covered plains of NJ. Pierce was clearly exposed this year without the dominant pressure from the D-Line.

  3. You can’t cut ‘captains’ and expect a smooth transition to the next era. Giants gonna slide to the bottom of the division.

  4. I’m always shocked to see players like this dropped instead of traded, unless his contract was up. But it happens a lot where a team drops someone and you think “they couldn’t get anything for him.” I mean even a 5th round pick is better than nothing isn’t it?

  5. As a Cowboys fan, this is great news. He made that defense what it was, such a leader. Without him the rest of the people in coverage had no idea what to do. But I think he’s like 32 or something like that, so it’s not a huge shock.

  6. The Giants better be willing to trade up for Rolando McClain now… I’ve only seen 1 mock draft where he slipped to 15.

  7. wow, who do they plan on replacing him, its definately not someone on the Giants current roster…Pierce will have many offers though so he doesn’t have to worry about that

  8. AP was a great leader time for someone else to step up and make the D what it always was feared
    AP good luck I hope your invested wisely stay away from Plex

  9. Having aging legends hanging around is nice and all that, but more and more teams are finding that the phrase “What have you done for me lately” isn’t just a good idea – it’s the law when it comes to a team’s financial health.

  10. What a loud mouth this jerk has been.
    Should be fun watching him belly ache about the peanuts he’ll end up getting from some squat team.

  11. As a Giants fan, this news is bittersweet. Pierce was our captain a very vocal leader that got the team fired up every game (even more so when Strahan left). He was a great addition to our team since 2005 and helped solidify a LB core that was struggling. BUT, after watching this year he definatly has lost a step and was begining to become a huge liability especially on coverage. Thanks for the memories Pierce! The team will miss your great leadership…and the oppenents back up TE will miss actually being able to catch a pass!

  12. Pierce was a great defensive player for the Giants but his performance has slipped alot. This has to mean there going LB with there 1st pick or targeting the likes of a LB in free agency. I dont see Johnathan Goff as a starter for the Giants this season. If the Giants defense stays healthy next season there they’ll be great.

  13. Vikings should consider him if EJ Henderson is out all of next year, which he probably will be

  14. No chance McClain drops to 15. They will have to settle for Spikes or Reese will have to pull off another late round miracle.

  15. It was definitely the right time to let Pierce go. As an undrafted free agent signed by the Skins in 2001, the guy definitely outperformed expectations. He was extremely valuable to the Giants the last few years but the last year and a half he started to look like a guy that spent more time in line at strip club buffets than a guy dedicated to a physical regimen. He was too fat and slow to keep up anymore with TEs or RBs. Thanks to Pierce for his fantastic contributions and much luck on the trail of life. Now its time for Goff to step up or the Giants draft an ILB this year. I am praying they draft that Spikes kid, he looks like he will be a 10 year stud.

  16. Tim wrote: As a Giants fan, this news is bittersweet. Pierce was our captain a very vocal leader that got the team fired up every game (even more so when Strahan left). He was a great addition to our team since 2005 and helped solidify a LB core that was struggling. BUT, after watching this year he definatly has lost a step and was begining to become a huge liability especially on coverage. Thanks for the memories Pierce! The team will miss your great leadership…and the oppenents back up TE will miss actually being able to catch a pass!
    ————–
    I couldn’t have said it better. I agree 100%.

  17. It’s really too bad that the Giants have lost 2 great defensive leaders (Pierce, Strahan) in a couple of years without anyone there to take their spot.
    Trade up for McClain!

  18. Part of the reason that the Giants defense was so poor this past season was the lack of middle defense, from DT back to safety, and this included AP. He’s a great leader on the field and a smart, heady player, but his physical skills have simply declined too far. I wish him luck; he was crucial to the championship run in ’07, and if I ever run into him, his drinks are on me.

  19. Pierce should go back to working for the Howard Stern show. He was hilarious on that show! “What? You wanna ask Howard how do you fix a motorcycle and who’s the fastest, who’s the best?”

  20. “I bet almost anything that Karlos Dansby will be filling the void left by Pierce next season.”
    If there is a God, he will. I sure hope the Cards don’t franchise him again. We need Dansby more than ever now.

  21. Seems like some people don’t understand that Pierce’s injuries may force him to retire. If you want him on your team, good for you.

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