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Giants cut Janoris Jenkins over ‘refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language’

Janoris Jenkins wanted to be able to speak freely, and now he can.

The Giants cut Jenkins on Friday morning, one day after his non-apology for calling a fan a “retard” on Twitter Wednesday.

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Jenkins, 31, had used the R-word before as a Giant on Instagram in Aug. 2018. Nicknamed “Jackrabbit,” Jenkins remained on the team for almost two more full seasons and was championed by the Giants this offseason as a mentor and leader.

But his ignorance and insensitivity declining to genuinely apologize on Thursday led team brass to cut him.

They were already expected to get rid of him this offseason to save $11.25 million against their 2020 salary cap. Jenkins’ misstep simply gave them cause to send him down the Rabbit Hole a few weeks early and make an example of his unacceptable behavior.

Janoris Jenkins gets bounced by the Giants for refusing to acknowledge his hurtful word choice in tweets directed at fans.
Janoris Jenkins gets bounced by the Giants for refusing to acknowledge his hurtful word choice in tweets directed at fans. (Paul Sancya/AP)

“This was an organizational decision,” Pat Shurmur said in a 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.”

Shurmur later elaborated: “I spoke to him. My understanding was he made an apology. After the apology he made an attempt to rationalize his beliefs. And then yesterday there was a decision made top-down that we were gonna move on.”

Jenkins, true to his immaturity, pretty much announced his release himself on Friday morning by tweeting: “Best news ever.. Thank you.”

Later, he tweeted: “I Just want to thank the organization for the opportunity & good luck to my brothers that remains a Giant! Again, want my fans to know my intentions are always pure and genuine. #RabbitLoveEverybody.”

While GM Dave Gettleman scapegoated Odell Beckham Jr. last spring in his Giants “culture” clean-up, the GM was trumpeting Jenkins as a mentor and de facto extra defensive backs coach for the Giants’ many youngsters.

“Rabbit is a good guy. He’s a good person. He’s a good man. He wants to win. He’s not stupid,” Gettleman said on July 26. “He knows that these young corners ... have to grow up quick. He’s more than happy to help them along.”

Shurmur, complicit in shipping out Beckham and other supposedly poisonous influences on the Giants’ culture, said on Aug. 20: “I have a very high opinion of Jackrabbit.”

At April’s draft, Gettleman joked: “Janoris has a bunch of puppies he’s got to train.”

Shurmur added: “He’ll become a good teacher. I admire Janoris. He’s tough. He’s competitive. He always answers the bell, and I’ve gained a huge appreciation for him coaching him over the last year or so, and so just keep — put all these young guys in a room with him, and I think Janoris will be Janoris, and if these young guys are smart enough to listen, then they’re going to learn a lot of really good stuff.”

Jenkins, though, demonstrated poor leadership of the youngsters just Thursday.

Not only did he refuse to apologize for his language; as he walked away, he smacked young corner Grant Haley on the thigh and reminded him: “Speak freely as a man.” He was teaching the Giants’ young players exactly the wrong way to act.

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The Daily News calls for Janoris Jenkins' release on the back page of Friday's edition.
The Daily News calls for Janoris Jenkins' release on the back page of Friday's edition. (New York Daily News)

In Aug. 2018, Jenkins had posted a photo of himself reading, “It’s preseason retard,” an apparent response to flak he caught for Jarvis Landry’s 32-yard catch against him on the Browns’ first offensive play from scrimmage in last season’s preseason opener.

Shurmur said he was unaware Jenkins had used the word last year and so he wasn’t disciplined then.

“Last year I wasn’t aware that he’d used it, so no,” Shurmurs aid. “But it’s not a word you should use, and I made that very, very clear yesterday and I made it clear to him, as well.”

On Wednesday, he responded to a critical fan by saying: “I only can do my job.. retard.”

Jenkins was part of former GM Jerry Reese’s big-spending free agent frenzy on defense in 2016, along with Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon.

That year, Jenkins was arguably the Giants’ best player, shutting down an entire half of the field as Ben McAdoo’s team went 11-5 and made the franchise’s only playoff appearance in the last eight seasons.

The following season in 2017, however, Jenkins intentionally did not return to East Rutherford the day after his birthday for the Giants’ first practice after their Week 9 bye.

Jenkins was suspended for the following week’s blowout loss to the Rams. Then the next week in San Francisco, he quit on his teammates multiple times on the field, either by jogging or making non-efforts at tackles.

The Giants dangled Jenkins in trade talks but held onto him and sold him as a model Giant. They were obviously dead wrong, and now they get nothing for him in return.

This season, Jenkins reinforced he was a wild card several times.

He made another non-effort at a tackle on a touchdown by Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin. He called out the Giants’ pass rush in Week 2, saying he couldn’t cover Buffalo’s receivers for 10 seconds.

He basically dared the Giants to trade him at the deadline. Then he called out the coaching staff for not letting him travel with opponents’ top receivers in games. The Giants responded by playing him almost exclusively in the slot in Monday night’s loss to the Eagles.

The Giants save $11.25 million against their 2020 salary cap by cutting Jenkins and will eat $3.5 million in dead money.

Jenkins will be available immediately to the NFL’s other 31 teams — including Sunday’s opponent, the Miami Dolphins — waived with an injury designation but seemingly nursing a minor left ankle injury.

Jenkins had four interceptions this season but while he was bragging about his individual stats on Twitter Wednesday, he is tied for second among all Giants defensive players with six penalties this season, per Pro Football Focus.

He is one behind rookie corner DeAndre Baker and tied with edge rusher Markus Golden (six).

And now he is no longer a Giant.

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