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Giants say goodbye to Saquon Barkley’s veteran mentor

The Giants last year signed Jonathan Stewart with the hope he had some tread left on his tires and that the veteran running back could get the tough yards as he helped mentor rookie Saquon Barkley.

Only half of that equation worked out, and thus the Giants did the expected Wednesday and did not pick up the option on the second year of his contact.

Stewart, 31, was an excellent role model for Barkley, and the two grew close in their one year together. But on the field, Stewart did nothing. He played in just three games and had six rushing attempts for 17 yards before landing on injured reserve with a foot issue.

Stewart was scheduled to make $2.35 million in 2019. The Giants should save about $2.5 million on the 2019 salary cap without having Stewart on the books. Stewart will cost $250,000 in dead money on the cap.

This is likely the end of the NFL line for Stewart. He spent his first 10 seasons with the Panthers and in his career has 7,335 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns.

Dave Gettleman, the Giants general manager, was previously with the Panthers and signed Stewart to a two-year, $6.8 million Giants contract.

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