New York Giants: Immediate 53-Man Roster Cut Predictions Post-Patriots Game
That's it. Auditions are over. It's time to select the cast.
The starring roles have already been set; now it's time to pick the best extras.
The New York Giants concluded their five-game preseason with a 16-13 win over the New England Patriots. The victory completed New York's undefeated preseason—quite possibly the worst-looking one in pro football history.
Celebration will be short-lived for 22 current Giants. By Saturday evening, the roster must be trimmed from 75 men down to 53. Many who survived the first wave of cuts won't be so lucky this time around.
Did anyone save their job with their performance against the Patriots? Can we glean any indications of who may be on the way out?
Read on to get my take on the Giants' next round of cuts.
There was nothing Painter could have done in the preseason finale that would have saved his job with the Giants. Once Ryan Nassib hit his stride against the Colts, Painter's fate was practically sealed. The Giants' plan all along was to go with two quarterbacks: Eli Manning and one reliable backup.
Painter had his moments this preseason, but, ultimately, he was an outsider-looking-in this whole summer. For the Giants to have chosen him over Nassib, something would have needed to have gone terribly wrong. And if that had happened, New York's fourth-round pick in 2013 would have essentially been wasted.
New York's 2013 seventh-round pick has been at the bottom of the Giants' running back barrel all summer. Aside from Cox's performance against the Colts, which included a goal-line touchdown, there's little to point to as evidence of his development.
Cox was an experimental pick from the beginning. He hardly played at Michigan, and the Giants selected him based off one lukewarm season with a terrible UMass team. Perhaps Cox will resurface elsewhere, but his time with the Giants is up.
The race between Conner and Henry Hynoski has been an interesting one to watch, but Hynoski is the more versatile back and has led from Day 1. Conner is one of few who still plays football the way it was meant to be played, and it is unfortunate that his position is going extinct across the league.
Depending on the extent of Hynoski's shoulder injury, Conner's job may be safe.
Conner did a great job filling in for an injured Hynoski in 2013. He brought stability to a Giants running game that lacked any semblance of form. If cut, he will be a quality pickup for any team that is looking to boost its running game with a traditional fullback.
The Giants must purge their offensive line, and James Brewer will be one blocker to hit the road. A fourth-round pick in 2011, Brewer never amounted to the player New York expected he'd become when they drafted him. A back injury has kept him out of action recently, and it will probably keep him off the 53-man roster, too.
Herman was a developmental pick (seventh-round, 2013) that spent last season on the practice squad. He received x-rays on his leg after the preseason finale versus the Patriots, but he has time to recover. Herman was suspended the first four games of the season, so he will move to the reserve/suspended list when the Giants make their cuts.
Johnson-Webb is your everyday camp body. Now that training camp and the preseason have concluded, so will his career as a Giant. Getting cut is nothing new for Johnson-Webb. Before his time with the Giants, he was signed and released by the Cardinals, Vikings, Bears and Bills. The crazy part is that he has been with all those teams in less than two years. Johnson-Webb gets around.
Asper has gotten some looks as a jumbo tight end/extra offensive tackle with the first team, but that won't be enough to earn him a roster spot. Asper can swing from guard to tackle, too. Perhaps that versatility will save his job with the Giants, but I wouldn't count on it. He joined the team just as camp opened at the end of July.
Gress did not get a ton of playing time this preseason and approximately none of it was against quality talent. He didn't join the team until Troy Kropog landed on injured reserve, after training camp had already opened. Gress and the rest of the linemen listed on this slide will hit the road.
Gaines has actually been very good this preseason. He's buried near the bottom of the Giants' depth chart, but every time he has gotten into a game this preseason he has blocked with extraordinary efficiency. Ultimately, it's a numbers game, and Gaines must go simply because the Giants do not have enough roster spots to retain him.
It's a long summer when you spend it all on the sideline. The Holliday signing generated a lot of excitement for the Giants' return game, but a hamstring injury has kept the spark-plug out of action. Even if he did get on the field, Holliday has a fumbling issue to which Coughlin certainly would not take a liking.
The Giants will take ball security over electrifying return potential any day. Protecting the ball doesn't sell jerseys and tickets, but it probably wins them more games. Quintin Demps and Preston Parker are suitable returning kicks and punts, respectively, although Demps did fumble one return versus the Colts.
When the Giants first signed Manningham, it was an exciting reunion. The former Super Bowl hero was making his return to the Big Apple. He'd be inserted back into the Giants' starting lineup, and he and Manning would connect for many more touchdowns forever and ever and ever...
That's not really the way things went. Manningham's injured knee affected him mentally just as much as it did physically. He wasn't the same receiver who left for the West Coast before the 2012 season. His injured calf may have ended his career, fittingly against the Patriots.
Talley has come a long way, but it looks like his trip is coming to an end. Two years ago, the undrafted UMass product set out to become the next Victor Cruz. He was cut and turned to the Arena Football League. He came back again the next summer and made the practice squad. Talley was activated late in the 2013 season and even found his way into a couple of games.
This preseason, however, Talley hasn't made the plays to make the active roster. Against the Patriots, he had a few final shots to create a spark, but he couldn't corral any of his three targets. Perhaps he will spend another season on the Giants' practice squad.
I hope that was the last time any of you have to read that phrase.
Stanton has gotten sporadic pressure on the quarterback but not enough to stick with the Giants. For an undrafted pass-rusher to make the squad, he must be consistently disruptive—and even then he's no lock to make the team. Think back to the Adewale Ojomo summers and how many roster spots they produced.
The 33-year-old Idonije was added somewhat inexplicably late in the summer. It might have made sense to sign him as a free agent after the 2012 season; Idonije spent nine seasons with the Chicago Bears, playing both tackle and end. However, after last season, spent in Detroit, where he didn't start a game and collected just seven tackles (and half a sack), it made little sense to sign him.
Perhaps the Giants wanted a veteran presence on the defensive line, but they already had that in Mathias Kiwanuka and Cullen Jenkins. It was a peculiar move to bring him in, and his sack late in the Patriots game won't be enough to save him.
Wynn has been slightly more impressive than Stanton but still not a disruptive enough force to warrant his keeping. He had a couple sacks in the preseason and a few tackles for a loss. Wynn went all out and collected five tackles against the Patriots. Still, that final effort will not propel him onto the 53-man roster. Wynn is a notable practice squad candidate.
It looks like the draft experts were right after all.
Quarles had the collegiate production to be an early- to mid-round draft selection. However, analysts credited much of his production to teammate Jadaveon Clowney, who often drew double- and triple-teams. The Giants took a shot on him as an undrafted free agent, and it hasn't panned out. Nothing Quarles has done in the preseason resembles what he did in college.
Manning hasn't been a terrible linebacker for the Giants this summer. For once, New York is stacked at the position. If the team could stash all their current linebackers on the roster, they would. Instead, cuts must be made, and Manning is likely to be one of them.
Against the Patriots, in his most extensive action of the preseason, Manning racked up five tackles. If he is to be cut, at least he went out with a bang.
A lot of people were very high on Fox in the spring, but he kind of fizzled out as the summer went on. Touted as a heady football player, I'm not sure Fox has the athleticism to truly cut it as an NFL linebacker. He's the type of guy you want in your locker room but not the one you want matched up on Adrian Peterson.
He and Mark Herzlich are similar linebackers. The winner of this competition was always going to be the bigger standout on special teams. Herzlich practiced this week but was held out of Thursday's action with a minor injury. That tells me the Giants are saving him for the regular season, and Fox is expendable.
The Giants' secondary must be trimmed considerably, and Fenner will be one of the members of the defensive backfield not to make the 53-man roster. The former Seattle Seahawk was added to the roster late in the offseason, so he was at a disadvantage from the start.
Fenner did, however, make a final push against the Patriots. He made two tackles and broke up three passes. Still, it won't be enough to keep him over Zack Bowman, who added another interception to his brilliant preseason resume on Thursday.
I liked Gordon when the Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent. He's a big guy (6'0", 214) from a big-name school (Michigan) that can play both safety and cornerback. I thought he'd make for a valuable addition to a New York secondary that was looking to improve.
Even with Cooper Taylor on injured reserve, Gordon's shot to make the team is slim. He had a very quiet training camp and hardly made a peep in the preseason. Gordon had just two tackles against the Patriots.
Hosley is going to make the team by default, as he'll be moved to the reserve/suspended list at the start of the season. He will spend the first four games of the season there, and may or may not be activated when his suspension has been fully served.
Hosley had an awful preseason, and the fans are sick of him. This 2012 third-round selection was one of GM Jerry Reese's worst picks.