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New York Giants expected to decline Jonathan Stewart’s option

The New York Giants will have a decision to make on veteran running back Jonathan Stewart next week — they can either pickup his second-year option or let him become an unrestricted free agent.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports that decision has essentially already been made, and that general manager Dave Gettleman will allow his long-time player to hit the open market.

Another roster decision will come much sooner. The option for the second year of 31-year-old running back Jonathan Stewart’s two-year contract must be exercised by the third day of the waiver period, which begins on Feb. 4.

It would be stunning for the Giants to exercise the second year of the contract, which would pay Stewart a $2.35 million salary in 2019. Stewart had a $3.925 million cap hit in 2018 when he had six carries for 17 yards in three games before being put on injured reserve with a foot injury. The Giants wouldn’t take on any dead money and would actually recoup $250,000 in a cap credit from 2018 if they don’t exercise Stewart’s option. In other words, it’s a complete no-brainer.

After signing with the Giants on a two-year deal before the selection of Saquon Barkley in the 2018 NFL Draft, Stewart went on to appear in just three games, gaining 17 yards on six carries before landing on injured reserve (IR).

By declining Stewart’s second-year option, the Giants will avoid any dead money and actually recoup $250,000 towards their 2019 salary cap.

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