Check out photos of DT Cullen Jenkins from the 2014 season
The Giants made the decision this week to release defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, parting ways with the nine-year NFL veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion.
In 120 regular season games, including 82 starts, Kiwanuka was a versatile force on the defensive front and climbed to ninth on the franchise's all-time sack list with 38.5.
"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," coach Tom Coughlin said at the time of Kiwanuka's release. "He is dependable, reliable and there is no question about his professionalism…His character and professionalism and serious approach to the game will be missed."
The Giants will have to replace those qualities in 2015 and beyond. Giants.com looks at the current roster for players who could take over Kiwanuka's position on the defensive line.
2014: 12 G, 11 GS, 15 Tackles, 1.0 Sack, 5 QBH, 1 FR
Career (GB, PHI, NYG): 153 GP, 124 GS, 306 Tackles, 44.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 89 QBH, 8 FF, 9 FR
Notes: Missing a regular-season game for the first time since 2010 when he was with the Green Bay Packers, Jenkins dealt with a calf injury midway through 2014, and it sidelined the 11-year veteran for four out of five weeks after the bye. Jenkins, also known for his versatility, played left defensive tackle for the first half of the season before taking over at left defensive end for Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers Jr. after they were placed on injured reserve.
Robert Ayers Jr.
2014:12 G, 1 GS, 22 Tackles, 5.0 Sacks, 14 QBH, 1 FF
**Career (DEN, NYG): 84 G, 28 GP, 164 Tackles, 17.0 Sacks, 51 QBH, 4 FF, 3 FR
Notes: Ayers and Kiwanuka were two of the five Giants placed on injured reserve at the same time last December, expanding the list to 20 players. Signed last offseason after five years with the Denver Broncos, Ayers was tied with Jason Pierre-Paul for the team lead in sacks before suffering a torn pectoral muscle against the Jaguars in Week 13.
Check out photos of DE Robert Ayers from the 2014 season
2014: 16 G, 0 GS, 32 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 12 QBH
Career (NYG): 31 G, 0 GS, 43 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 15 QBH, 1 FF
Notes: Selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Moore registered his first career sack last season in Week 4 against the Redskins and notched 5.5 on the year. Moore has shown flashes of his potential, including his first multi-sack performance against the Titans in Week 14. Moore was part of a pass rush that, after a slow start, finished fourth in the league with 47 sacks.
2014: 5 G, 0 GS, 17 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 3 QBH
Career (NYG): Rookie
Notes: Undrafted out of Richmond, Wynn worked his way into a roster spot during training camp and waited for his opportunity until he suited up for the first time in Week 13. He made the most of it and combined for a sack and three tackles in his debut. Wynn went on to become another fixture in a productive 2014 rookie class, highlighted by his game in St. Louis, where he recorded a sack, interception and fumble recovery in a spirited victory.