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Giants release veteran DE Mathias Kiwanuka


View photos of DE Mathias Kiwanuka

The Giants today released veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka.


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Kiwanuka was the 32nd overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft. In nine seasons with the Giants he played in 120 games with 82 starts – 52 at defensive end, 29 at strongside linebacker and one at weakside linebacker. Kiwanuka has also played in six postseason games with three starts – two at defensive end and one at strongside backer. His career regular-season totals include 464 tackles (298 solo), 38.5 sacks (placing him ninth on the franchise's career list), three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 21 special teams tackles.

Kiwanuka was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl XLII and XLVI championship teams. He was on injured reserve for XLII and played in XLVI in his hometown of Indianapolis.

"Mathias has a warrior mentality," said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. "He has been the ultimate team player for this franchise, and was a true pro from day one."

In 2014, Kiwanuka started each of the first 11 games at left defensive end. But he suffered a knee injury against Dallas on Nov. 23, was inactive the following week when the Giants played in Jacksonville and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 2.

With Kiwanuka's release, the Giants have no remaining defensive players from recently-hired coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's first tenure with the team in 2007-08.

"The thing that has always impressed me about Kiwi is how serious he is about the game," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "He was always prepared and always in outstanding condition and played very hard. And he had some nasty in him.

"I always felt like you could count on certain things from him: eight-nine sacks, harass the quarterback, and you could move him around, inside, outside. He is dependable, reliable and there is no question about his professionalism.

"I would have to back him off in practice and remind him that we're not hitting the quarterback. He would always agree and then I'd have to remind him again the next play.

"His character and professionalism and serious approach to the game will be missed."

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