The ill-advised Janoris Jenkins mentorship program is over for the Giants.
Jenkins, 31, was released Friday by the Giants, two days after he called a fan a “retard” on social media and then botched a forced apology in front of the cameras after meeting with coach Pat Shurmur.
“This was an organizational decision,” Shurmur said in a prepared statement.
“From ownership to management to our football operations, we felt it was in the best interests of the franchise and the player. Obviously, what happened this week, and the refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language, was the determining factor.”
The Giants likely were going to cut Jenkins during the offseason as a football decision anyway, considering his contract offered $11.25 million in salary cap savings and just a $3.5 million dead cap hit for next season.
Jenkins, who signed a five-year, $62.5 million free-agent contract in 2016, reacted to his release by tweeting, “Best news ever… Thank you.”
Despite Shurmur condemning Jenkins’ language, Jenkins tried to downplay it as “slang” used within the Florida “culture” in which he was raised. He refused to answer the question of whether he would continue using the word.
The Giants shopped Jenkins at each of the last two trade deadlines but held onto him rather than taking a late-round draft pick. Now he is free to sign elsewhere and possibly compete in the playoffs. Because he is dealing with an ankle injury, he technically was waived/injured.
When constructing the roster, general manager Dave Gettleman opted to have Jenkins as the only veteran cornerback around rookies Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker and second-year players Grant Haley and Sam Beal.
Why was he entrusted with such a big role?
“Rabbit is a good guy,” Gettleman, who has not given an interview since July, said at the time. “He’s a good person. He’s a good man.”
There were warning signs that the experiment might backfire, going back to his getting booted from the football program at the University of Florida and skipping a Giants practice to celebrate his birthday, which resulted in a suspension in 2017.