The New York Giants made 22 moves Saturday to trim their roster to the mandatory 53 players. The roster currently is overcrowded with eight linebackers and thin with three tight ends and no fullback. There could be more moves on the way.
Until then, here’s a closer look at their final cuts:
Most significant move 1: Waiving running back Andre Williams
The Giants cut ties with their 2014 fourth-round pick. Williams was a Heisman Trophy finalist at Boston College, and he had a promising rookie year with the Giants. But he struggled mightily last season (2.9 yards per carry) and, despite dropping weight and appearing quicker, Williams became one of the Giants' final cuts. They decided to keep the versatile Bobby Rainey instead of Williams. Rainey had a strong preseason and did well returning punts and kicks. He's also a much better receiver out of the backfield.
“Andre is a guy that played some good football for us,” coach Ben McAdoo said in a statement released by the team. “We’re going to miss him. It was another one of those really tough (roster) decisions to make. We feel that with Rashad (Jennings), Shane (Vereen), Orleans (Darkwa), Paul Perkins and Bobby Rainey, we have some versatility there to play all three downs and on special teams as well.”
Most significant move 2: Cutting last year’s sixth-round pick, Geremy Davis
The Connecticut product started the summer strong, working with the first-team offense and making plays, but was slowed by a hamstring injury. It ultimately led to his downfall with the Giants. He had trouble creating separation once he returned.
It was the second year in a row Davis started strong only to stumble as the summer progressed. He now becomes the first player from the Giants’ 2015 draft class to be released. Defensive back Bennett Jackson became the first player from the Giants’ 2014 draft class earlier in the week.
After Cruz managed to make it through two preseason games unscathed, there never really was serious doubt about his roster spot. Still, he missed most of the past two seasons and two weeks this summer with leg problems. King had played too well this summer and spring not to earn a roster spot, while undrafted rookie Roger Lewis flashed during training camp. How would the Giants get them on the roster with Cruz being handed a spot despite doing little on the field? By cutting Davis. That’s how.
“Roger and T.K. are two guys that really took a big jump,” coach Ben McAdoo said in a statement released by the team. “They hit the ground running in the offseason, made tremendous strides and got better and improved. They pushed each other along with the rest of that group. There was great competition in that group.
“Geremy was a guy we drafted here that we think very highly of. Sometimes, you have to make those tough decisions.”
That leaves only Bobby Hart, Canadian Brett Jones and the recently-signed Will Beatty as the reserve linemen. The Giants are currently carrying only eight offensive linemen -- and eight is rather light, especially since Beatty’s last game came in the 2014 season finale and he missed all of training camp and the preseason. The Giants are almost certain now to look for reinforcements via waiver claims over the next 24 hours.
They made it: Undrafted rookies such as Lewis and defensive end Romeo Okwara played their way onto the roster this spring and summer. Okwara opened eyes over the past month and earned his spot with sacks in three consecutive preseason games. Lewis cemented his spot with a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone late in Thursday night's game against the New England Patriots.
“[Okwara] really came on in camp,” McAdoo said. “He really didn’t do a lot in the offseason because he had a hamstring injury. But he bounced back. He takes his coaching well and he really plays with a great amount of energy and passion.”
King isn’t a rookie but he did the same. He made play after play this summer and preseason. He capped it with a 59-yard catch and run for a touchdown against the Patriots.
Thin on tight ends: Will Johnson placed on IR
Tight end Will Johnson joined Matt LaCosse on injured reserve. Johnson suffered a stinger earlier this summer, and the Giants had been optimistic he would return. But it didn't happen.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this,” McAdoo said. “He came in and played some good ball for us. He’s a guy that we think highly of.”
This now leaves the Giants incredibly thin at fullback/tight end, which McAdoo has grouped together. The Giants have Will Tye, Larry Donnell and rookie Jerell Adams on the roster. They likely will be looking for more help through the waiver wire or free agency.
A tight end or offensive lineman would likely take the place of a linebacker. The Giants currently have eight linebackers on their 53-man roster.
Giants cuts: QB Logan Thomas, RB Andre Williams, WR Darius Powe, WR Geremy Davis, WR Anthony Dable, OL Adam Gettis, OL Emmett Cleary (waived/injured), OL Ryan Seymour, OL Dillon Farrell, OL Jake Rodgers (waived/injured), DE Stansly Maponga, DT Jermelle Cudjo, DT Louis Nix III, LB Brad Bars, LB Ishaq Williams, CB Michael Hunter, CB Dante Deayon, CB Leon McFadden, S Andrew Adams, S Justin Currie
K Josh Brown will be placed on a reserve/suspended list. He is set to serve a one-game suspension for violating the league's conduct policy.
Tight end Will Johnson was placed on injured reserve.