The New York Giants have some questions to answer, and the 53-man roster is just a start. After trading for Sage Rosenfels, the Giants made some interesting cuts and released their 53-man roster late Saturday evening.
Jonathan Goff solidified his spot at the middle linebacker position after Philip Dillard went out with an injury against the New England Patriots, forcing Goff to finish it for Dillard. He played nearly the entire game, and the coaches were extremely impressed.
With young players stepping up to claim spots, see which long time backups were shown the door in the following article, which not only gives you the 53-man roster, but places each player in their position on the depth chart.
1. Eli Manning - Eli is coming off one of his best years and will look to improve with a young, up and coming arsenal of weapons.
2. Sage Rosenfels - The Giants traded for Sage Friday evening, effectively ending any speculation that Rhett Bomar had done enough to earn the job.
Rhett Bomar was shown the door, but will more than likely come back to be a practice squad member should he clear waivers.
1a. Ahmad Bradshaw, 1b. Brandon Jacobs
This two headed monster will get an equal share of carries, and if Jacobs returns to his 2008 form after having his injuries surgically taken care of, be afraid. Be very afraid.
3. DJ Ware - Ware looked good against the Patriots and solidified his spot behind Earth and Fire. Maybe he becomes the new Wind?
4. Darius Reynaud - A return specialist but can play both RB and WR, however he was strickly brought in because he was top five in the NFC in average return yards on punts.
Cut: Gartrell Johnson, Andre Brown - I was right on the money here, didn't expect Brown to make the team after the trade for Reynaud and Brown having turf toe.
1. Madison Hedgecock - MH is one of the most underrated fullbacks in the league, but had a poor 2009 season opening holes. Look for him to have a bounce back season crackin' skulls.
Cut - Jerome Johnson
1. Steve Smith
2. Hakeem Nicks
3. Mario Manningham
No surprises in the first three targets. All three developed a solid chemistry helping Eli Manning to his best year of his career in 2009, becoming one of the best corps in the league in the process.
If you've been reading my stuff before, you would know already that I expect a monster year from Hakeem Nicks. His ability to be a deep play threat could make the Giants the most dangerous team in the NFC East.
4. Ramses Barden - look for Barden to become more of a serious threat in the red zone this season. The Giants have typically not opened up the offense with four wide receiver sets, but they will this year.
5.. Victor Cruz - The Giants better not let this diamond in the rough slip away. Domenik Hixon and Sinorice Moss being on injured reserve may give this guy a chance to succeed.
6. Duke Calhoun The Giants did what I had originally thought and kept six wide receivers, but replaced Hagan with Calhoun, who proved to be much more into playing special teams than Hagan was, despite Hagan playing so well last year.
Odd Man Out: Derek Hagan - this was a rough decision, and it is sure to be one for the staff as well. Hagan played very well in special teams, but rumor has it that he lost his passion to play special teams, and that ultimately cost him a spot.
1. Kevin Boss - look for the Boss Man to become a bigger target for Eli in the red zone and have a break out season. He has improved every year since coming in to the league.
2. Travis Beckum - Beckum is yet another weapon the Giants will look to unleash this season. He is a great receiving threat but is not much for blocking. He will be used sparingly.
Cut: Bear Pascoe - this was the hardest cut for Coughlin to make, Bear did so much for the team during camp when the team was depleted at the tight end spot.
At this point, who knows what the starting lineup is going to be for Week 1, what we do know is that the Giants should have a deep line with the emergence of Shaun Andrews as a legit threat to start.
Here is my best guess.
LT - Will Beatty
LG - Shawn Andrews
C - Shaun O'Hara
RG - Chris Snee
RT - David Diehl
Backups - Rich Seubert, Kareem McKenzie, Mitch Petrus, Adam Koets
Most notable cut: Guy Whimper. Whimper has been a long time backup on the team, but there just isn't enough roster spots to justify keeping him any longer, especially since Seubert can play all three inside positions.
1. Barry Cofield and Chris Canty
2. Linvel Joseph and Rocky Bernard
The Giants surprised everybody by cutting Jay Alford. Maybe there was more to his ACL injury than most people knew. He will find work some where else.
1. Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck
2. Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul
3. Dave Tollefson
The Giants are going to have a nine-man rotating defensive line, that is a refreshing thought after dealing with injuries to the line at the end of both of the last two seasons.
Left Outside - Keith Bulluck
Middle - Jonathan Goff
Right Outside - Michael Boley
Goff impressed in his last preseason game, but he still on very thin ice after that horrible showing on Sunday against the Ravens.
Right Outside - Clint Sintim, Chase Blackburn
Middle - Philip Dillard, Gerris Wilkinson
Left Outside - Brian Kehl
1. Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster
2. Bruce Johnson and Aaron Ross
3. DJ Johnson
Aaron Ross has officially lost his job to Terrell Thomas, but he is ready to contribute in every way he can and put his injury plagued 2009 season behind him.
This group could be one of the best in the league if they all play to their potential. That's a pretty big if.
1. Kenny Philips
2. Deon Grant
1. Antrel Rolle
2. Michael Johnson
The consensus is that Kenny Philips is going to be healthy and ready to start in Week 1, but if that's not the case then Deon Grant will more than be able to fill in for him.
Antrel Rolle has been looking good in the preseason, both ball hawking and punishing receivers.
Return Specialist - Darius Reynaud
Kicker - Lawrence Tynes
Punter - Matt Dodges
Long Snapper - Zak DeOssie
Dodge disappointed in his first two games, but in the last two he showed why the Giants used a draft pick on him. He has a huge leg, punting one against the Ravens for 73 yards, and averaged 49 yards per punt on nine punts.