By Scott Mandel, SportsReporters.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Thirty-two players were released (including seven who were waived/injured) and five players were placed on injured reserve today as the Giants reduced their roster from 89 to the NFL regular-season limit of 53 players.
Those waived included second-year quarterback Kyle Lauletta and one of the team’s 2019 draft choices, defensive tackle Chris Slayton, who was selected in the seventh round.
Also released were running back Jon Hilliman; wide receivers TJ Jones and Reggie White, Jr.; tight ends C.J. Conrad and Jake Powell; offensive linemen Paul Adams, Evan Brown, Malcolm Bunche and James O’Hagan; defensive linemen Freedom Akinmoladun, Jake Ceresna, John Jenkins; linebackers Joey Alfieri, Jake Carlock, Terrence Fede, Avery Moss and Josiah Tauaefa; defensive backs Tenny Adewusi and Terrell Sinkfield, Jr.; punter Johnny Townsend; and long snapper Taybor Pepper.
Waived/injured were: linebacker Keion Adams (knee), defensive back Kenny Ladler (hamstring), tackle Victor Salako (shoulder), defensive back Henre’ Toliver (ankle), wide receiver Alex Wesley (foot/ankle), tackle Chad Wheeler (back) and defensive back Ronald Zamort (ankle).
Defensive back Kamrin Moore, who did not count against the 89, was waived off the commissioner’s exempt list.
Those placed on injured reserve were linebacker Jonathan Anderson (knee), tackle (2019 seventh-round draft choice) George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), wide receiver Brittan Golden (calf), tight end Scott Simonson (ankle) and running back Rod Smith (adductor).
In addition, wide receiver Golden Tate III has begun serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. He is eligible to return to the team on Sept. 30.
“We are in the second year of building the kind of team we all want,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “The process never stops. The communication between (general manager) Dave (Gettleman) and I and our coaches and Dave’s staff is really good. The group of 90 that was with us through the spring and summer bought into what we are building here and created the kind of competition that makes for tough decisions.
“For the players who were released today, we thank them for their effort and commitment, and we told them to stay ready because you never know when your next opportunity will come, either here or somewhere else.”
Because of the position he plays, perhaps the most prominent released player is Lauletta, a fourth-round draft choice last year who threw the game-winning touchdown pass as time expired in the preseason finale in New England Thursday night. He played in two games and threw five passes as a rookie. The Giants currently have three quarterbacks: starter Eli Manning, first-round draft choice Daniel Jones and four-year veteran Alex Tanney, who was with the team the entire 2018 season, though he didn’t play in a game.
“I said it last week, it’s a credit to Kyle the way he came in here every day and worked to get better and competed after we drafted Daniel,” Shurmur said. “Not every guy would respond that way, and Kyle improved as a result. So there was a lot to consider in that decision, but ultimately we decided to go with Tanney.”
The roster today – which could well change as soon as tomorrow – includes 25 players on both offense and defense, and three on special teams.
Eight of the team’s 10 selections from the 2019 draft are on the current roster: Jones; defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence; defensive backs DeAndre Baker, Julian Love and Corey Ballentine; linebackers Oshane Ximines and Ryan Connelly; and wide receiver Darius Slayton.
The other newcomers to the team include safeties Antoine Bethea and Jabrill Peppers; defensive lineman Olsen Pierre; linebacker Markus Golden; and offensive linemen Chad Slade and Nick Gates (who spent his entire 2018 rookie season on injured reserve).
Not one rookie free agent is on the current roster.
Notable among the players who are not on the 53 are Wheeler, who started 14 games at right tackle last season and 19 in his two years with the team and Moss, a fifth-round draft choice in 2017 who spent all of last season on the practice squad both of whom were waived. As well as two of the players on injured reserve: Simonson, who played in every game with four starts in 2018 and caught nine passes, including his first career touchdown and Smith, who rushed for 359 yards and five touchdowns the previous two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants’ roster following the moves today:
QB (3): Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (R), Alex Tanney
RB (4): Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Jr., Paul Perkins, Eli Penny
WR: (6): Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler III, Russell Shepard, Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton (R), Alonzo Russell
TE (3): Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson
C/G (4): Will Hernandez, Kevin Zeitler, Jon Halapio, Spencer Pulley
T (5): Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Nick Gates, Chad Slade, Brian Mihalik
DL (5): Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence II (R), Olsen Pierre, RJ McIntosh
OLB (4): Kareem Martin, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines (R)
ILB (5): Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, Ryan Connelly (R), B.J. Goodson, Nate Stupar
DB (11) Janoris Jenkins, DeAndre Baker (R), Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Grant Haley, Antonio Hamilton, Michael Thomas, Julian Love (R), Corey Ballentine (R), Sean Chandler, Sam Beal
Special Teams (3)
K: Aldrick Rosas
P: Riley Dixon
S: Zak DeOssie