It happens twice a year, NFL teams have to make mandatory roster reductions to reach NFL size limits. Today it goes from 90 to 75. Saturday from 75 to 53. Coaches and General Managers call it the hardest part of their job, telling young men that they aren’t good enough to make it onto the team. Explaining to veterans that they have reached the end of the road. A twice annual reminder that the National Football League is a competitive and cruel world to be in.
Cornerback Charles James was trying to establish himself as a team leader at a position of depth for the Giants. He needed to excel at special teams to make it. A muffed punt against the Steelers did him in and despite staying after practice to field punts and working to improve his game, James was among the first wave of Giants cuts. They may be doing him a favor as cornerbacks are at a premium and gave him time to catch on with another team before the regular season starts. That team likely dresses in green in the locker room across the hall.
Yesterday, Tom Coughlin announced that the Giants would be playing tight end by committee, Xavier Grimble has been injured for weeks and Jerome Cunningham, while talented, is raw. Cunningham is a prime candidate for the practice squad if he clears waivers. Grimble was waived with the injured designation.
The kicking battle is over, and as projected by Giants360, Josh Brown emerged the victor. Rookie Brandon McManus gave Brown a run for his money, but fell just short, being waived today as part of the roster reduction. McManus showed that he can kick in the National Football League and will catch on somewhere. Hopefully not in Philadelphia, where the Eagles are reportedly unhappy with incumbent Alex Henery.
Linebackers Spencer Adkins and Justin Anderson, both struggling to stay healthy, were released, as predicted here yesterday, as were safeties Kyle Sebetic and C.J. Barnett, cornerback Ross Weaver, defensive tackles Emmanuel Dieke and Everett Dawkins, wide receiver Travis Harvey, guard John Sullen
Safety Cooper Taylor and wide receiver Marcus Harris were put on season ending injured reserve. Both has shown promise in camp and the preseason, but were facing injuries that would keep them out for a month or longer and the team couldn’t afford allocating a precious roster spot to unproven players. These final two moves brought the Giants roster to the mandates 75 players.
The team received good news on guard Geoff Schwartz today, as he will not require surgery on his dislocated toe. He’s extremely doubtful to play in the season opener at Detroit, but will be able to begin rehab once he is out of a walking boot in seven to ten days. Schwartz will be considered week to week at that point and will likely miss the first several weeks of the season. Look for him to return in early October, and be thankful if he’s able to see the field at all in September. The Giants dodged a bullet on this injury.