The New York Giants have trimmed their roster from 90 players down to 53 with only mild surprises, such as the trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. However they might not be done setting their final roster for Week 1 of the regular season.
As with the Giants, every team in the league cut players over the last two days and the league is flush with new free agents and players on the waiver wire. The Giants are likely scouting the lists of new cuts to see where they can upgrade their roster.
Here is a list of 12 players who might catch their eye.
- Eric Winston (OT) - One of the most respected players in the league, Winston also used to be one of the top right tackles in the league. The Cincinnati Bengals released him after one year, but he could be a veteran swing tackle and add to the Giants’ depth chart behind Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart.
- Alex Boone (OG) - An older (30-year-old) veteran guard, Boone was a solid guard on a troubled Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line in 2016. The Giants list John Jerry as their starter, but offensive line coach Mike Sullivan has a strong relationship with Boone going back to their time together with the San Francisco 49ers.
- Emmett Cleary (G/T) - A former Giant, Cleary landed with the Dallas Cowboys but couldn’t stick. The team moved him to guard and he reportedly played well enough that they were fielding trade offers before ultimately releasing him. Might he be worth a second look by the Giants?
- David Quessenberry (OL) - A smart, athletic, and versatile former left tackle, Quessenberry spent the last three years fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Finally healthy and cancer free, he couldn’t quite make the Houston Texans’ roster. They will likely try to bring him back to their practice squad, but his versatility and play before cancer (pass blocking efficiency of 96.3) could earn him a look.
- T.J. Ward (S) - One of the leaders of the Denver Broncos’ dangerous defense, Ward’s outright release had little to do with his skill and much more to do with his contract when he refused to accept a pay cut. If the Giants and Ward could agree on a contract, he would bring a veteran presence with championship experience to a young safety depth chart.
- Akeem Ayers (LB) - The Giants’ linebacking corps has been an issue for years now, and they could also use more speed off the edge in the pass rush. Ayers is a big, athletic linebacker who could back up, or even compete with, Devon Kennard and contribute in the Giants’ blitz packages.
- Sio Moore (LB) - Another linebacker who could help beef up the middle of the Giants’ defense. Moore is a big hitter and was one of the most athletic linebackers at the combine in his draft class. He was also Pro Football Focus’ fifteenth ranked run defending linebacker last season.
- DeShawn Williams (DT) - Formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals, Williams is an undersized (listed at 6-foot-1, 290 pounds) defensive tackle, but he has the first-step quickness to be disruptive. The Giants favor big, powerful defensive linemen to contend with the massive offensive lines in the division, but Williams could give them the kind of interior pass rush they have lacked.
- Datone Jones (DT) - Jones hasn’t been cut. Yet. However, there are reports that he could reach an injury settlement with the Minnesota Vikings making him a free agent. If so, the Giants should at least check in on him. Jones is a naturally powerful defensive tackle with lightning-quick hands and was part of the best run defense in the NFL last season. A 2013 first-round pick, Jones has spent his time playing defensive end in the Packers’ 3-4 front, but could be a disruptive 3-technique for the Giants.
- Charles James (CB) - James is a former undrafted free agent in 2013 who became a fan favorite in the Giants’ training camp that year. He played in 12 games on defense and special teams, and could be potential depth at slot corner. James has bounced around the league since being waived by the Giants after the 2013 season, most notably spending time with the Houston Texans and most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Will Blackmon (CB) - Yet another former Giant that the team could be interested in bringing back, Blackmon has worked at cornerback, safety, and as a returner, all spots that the Giants could want to improve their depth.
- Pierre Desir (CB) - A player for whom the Giants will have to put in a waiver claim, but Desir might be worth it. While he doesn’t have the elite speed of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Eli Apple, he has a long frame, quick feet, and an explosive lower body (11’1” broad jump). He’s also shown solid ball skills. With the Giants’ issues with their corner depth chart, Desir is an intriguing option.
Which players would you like to see the Giants take a look at?