Zeitler, 31, was the Giants' best and most consistent offensive lineman last season. But he was set to earn $12 million and count $14.5 million against the salary cap.
That was too much for the Giants to digest this season with the cap decreasing 8% to $182.5 million. They save $12 million under the salary cap with Zeitler's release.
It was a decision prompted by the current NFL landscape and Zeitler's slightly diminished skills. His value on the open market isn't likely going to produce a similar 2020 salary.
"Can get Zeitler's level of play for way less than $10 million," an executive with another NFC team said recently.
Zeitler had a 65.9 grade from Pro Football Focus this past season, tied for 32nd among the 80 qualifying guards.