John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants will only have to cut 20 players this Saturday to get down to the mandatory 53 since OL Eric Herman and CB Jayron Hosley will go on the suspended list.
A rule of thumb in the NFL is never cut anyone you don’t have to. By Week 5, the Giants may need one or both of these players back. You never know.
Here’s my take on the final 53. The Giants want to be secure up front, so the offensive and defensive lines make up a little more than a third of the roster…
QB (2): Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib
Cut: Curtis Painter.
Nassib seems to be grasping things by the hour, so the Giants will go back to keeping just two QBs. It’s doubtful another team will pick up Painter, so if anything goes awry, the Giants will simply sign him back.
RB (3): Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Peyton Hillis
Cut: Kendall Gaskins, Michael Cox.
It sounds crazy to keep just three RBs in the NFL these days, but there are too many other positions in house that need bodies right now. I like Gaskins and Cox, but I don’t see the Giants cutting Hillis for either of them.
FB (1): Henry Hynoski
Cut: John Conner.
Both deserve to be kept, but there is only room for one FB. Hyno can do everything but carry the ball consistently. He may also be used as an H-back this year.
OL (10): Justin Pugh, Will Beatty, JD Walton, Geoff Schwartz, Weston Richburg, Brandon Mosley, Charles Brown, James Brewer, John Jerry, Dallas Reynolds
Cut: Adam Gress, Rogers Gaines, Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Mark Asper (Eric Herman has been suspended for the first four games).
Here’s where the bodies go. It’s really less because Schwartz will be out for awhile and Mosley and Brewer are dealing with back issues. They are still thin at tackle, but these are the most versatile of the players they have under roof.
TE (4): Daniel Fells, Adrien Robinson, Kellen Davis, Larry Donnell
What a mess. Training camp was supposed to provide a solution to this logjam, but somehow, it didn’t. As a result, Tom Coughlin said the team was keeping all four. Let’s see if it happens. With any luck, a veteran will fall into their laps this weekend.
WR (6): Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham, Jr., Jerrel Jernigan, Corey Washington, Preston Parker
Cut: Julian Talley, Trindon Holliday Mario Manningham
A tough group to cut from. Marcus Harris’ injury cleared some things up a bit, but still. Talley is a talented wideout who was probably penciled in until Washington blew past him. Holliday could be kept in favor of Parker, but I don’t see how, especially if he’s not healthy. Parker is a better WR, anyway.
DE (4): Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore, Mathias Kiwanuka, Robert Ayers
Cut: Kerry Wynn, Jordan Stanton, Israel Idonije
It’s a rotation, so four is plenty. They can also use a LB (Devon Kennard) or Cullen Jenkins in a pinch if needed.
DT (5): Cullen Jenkins, Jon Hankins, Markus Kuhn, Jay Bromley, Mike Patterson
Cut: Kelcy Quarles
Have to take Bromley over Quarles, but I have a feeling Quarles could still end up a Giant at some point.
LB (6): Jon Beason, Jameel McClain, Jacquian Williams, Devon Kennard, Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger
Cut: Dan Fox, Terrell Manning
If Williams can play 16 games, the Giants’ defense will be one of the best in football. Combined with the others, the LB corps has incredible speed to the ball and endless energy. The Giants aren’t cutting Herzlich, so you can stop right there. Paysinger has been playing with passion this summer, so he’s a keeper, too.
CB (5): Prince Amukamara, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond, Trumaine McBride, Zack Bowman
Cut: Chandler Fenner, Bennett Jackson, Travis Howard
They could decide to keep six, but I don’t know who that sixth would be. Depends on if they can cut down on a TE, which is unlikley.
S (4): Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Quintin Demps, Nat Berhe
Cut: Thomas Gordon
Not much to talk about here. Gordon is a solid player, but Berhe is a draftee and you know how Jerry Reese covets his draftees.
P Steve Weatherford
LS Zak DeOssie
PK Josh Brown
The die had been cast here from the beginning. Weatherford and DeOssie had no competition in camp and Brown outkicked Brandon McManus.