The New York Giants cut 32 players on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant first move: The Giants kept four quarterbacks. Hmmm. Both unexpected and unorthodox. Surely something else is brewing. You don’t keep four quarterbacks on your roster, especially when the starter (Eli Manning) has never in his 14 seasons missed a game because of injury. Kyle Lauletta is this year’s fourth-round pick. Alex Tanney is a career journeyman. The only remaining quarterback with any trade value is Davis Webb, a second-year quarterback who was selected by the previous regime. Expect something to change with the Giants quarterbacks in the next few days.
Most significant second move: Free safety Darian Thompson started 16 games last season. He’s no longer on the roster, waived-injured instead on cut-down day. The Giants had a tough decision with their 2016 third-round pick because he had missed a good portion of the summer with a hamstring injury. Curtis Riley was already considered the starter at free safety alongside Landon Collins, but he has never started an NFL game. Thompson is now gone and so is Andrew Adams, who was also waived after inexplicably being buried this summer. Adams started 14 games as a rookie in 2016. Veteran Michael Thomas, converted cornerback William Gay and Sean Chandler are the reserve safeties. Chandler came out of nowhere to make the roster as an undrafted rookie out of Temple. He was one of four undrafted rookies (Chandler, C Evan Brown, LB Tae Davis, RB Rob Martin) to make the initial 53-man roster.
End of the Herzlich era: Linebacker Mark Herzlich was a great story. He overcame cancer at Boston College and worked his way onto the Giants roster as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He won a Super Bowl ring. But after seven years this is finally the end (on his 31st birthday) as a player with the Giants. Undrafted free-agent linebacker Tae Davis beat him out for a roster spot as a reserve linebacker/special-teams staple. Herzlich was around last year while on injured reserve. Don’t be surprised by him moving forward in some sort of role within the organization if he doesn’t land on another roster.
The receiver shakeup: Roger Lewis is gone after finishing with the third-most receiving yards (416) on the team. He also had 36 catches and two touchdowns. But Lewis was buried from the start with this new regime and was never really in the mix for a roster spot after latching on as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Cody Latimer is the team’s third wide receiver behind Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. Offseason acquisition Russell Shepard is behind them, with Hunter Sharp as the fifth wide receiver and returner.
Giants moves: Released: RB Jhurell Pressley, RB Jalen Simmons, WR Roger Lewis, WR Amba Etta-Tawo, WR Alonzo Russell, WR Jawill Davis, WR Marquis Bundy, WR Travis Rudolph, WR Kalif Raymond, TE Garrett Dickerson, TE Ryan O’Malley, OT Victor Salako, G Malcolm Bunche, G Zac Kerin, G Chris Scott, DL Tyrell Chavis, DL A.J. Francis, DL Robert Thomas, DL Izaah Lunsford, OLB Jordan Williams, OLB Avery Moss, LB Mark Herzlich, LB Calvin Munson, LB Warren Long, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, CB Grant Haley, CB Mike Jones, CB Leonard Johnson, S Darian Thompson, S Andrew Adams, S Orien Stewart, K Marshall Koehn; Reserve/suspended list: DL Josh Mauro; Reserve/non-football injured list: R.J. McIntosh; Injured reserve: OL Nick Gates, OL Nick Becton