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Giants’ roster moves: Jon Hilliman, others cut to reach 80-man roster

Team decides to go with smaller roster now rather than wait until mid-August

NFL: SEP 29 Redskins at Giants
Jon Hilliman runs with the ball last season.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Given the option of trimming their roster to 80 now, or waiting until Aug. 16 to do so, the New York Giants have chosen to act now. The Giants on Sunday waived eight players, including running back Jon Hilliman.

Waived were:

Hilliman, edge defender Chris Peace, safety Rashaan Gaulden, cornerback Shakial Taylor, who was awarded to the Giants off waivers on Tuesday, quarterback Case Cookus of Northern Iowa, fullback George Aston of Pittsburgh, and linebackers Oluwole Betiku, Jr. of Illinois and Dana Levine of Temple. The waiving of Levine was previously reported.

Wide receiver Da’Mari Scott has chosen to opt out of the 2020 season. Scott is the second Giant to opt out after tackle Nate Solder announced on Wednesday he, too, will not play this year.

Each team was permitted to begin training camp last week with a traditional 90-man roster. But any team remaining at that number would have to split its squad for all activities, with only half its players allowed in that team’s facility at a time. The Giants have split into three workout groups for weightlifting and conditioning but most days end with full-squad walk-throughs, which would be prohibited with a 90-man roster. Any team with the larger group of players could not bring them all into its building at one time until Aug. 17, the first day of full-pads practice and when all teams must have no more than 80 players.

The Giants’ roster count is currently 81, including running back Sandro Platzgummer of Austria, who does not count against the roster as an International Pathway exemption.

Hilliman finished last season with 30 carries for 91 yards and three receptions.

Scott played in five games for the Giants last season with two starts and had two receptions for 22 yards, a 5.3-yard average on six punt returns with a long runback of 12 yards, and a 27.5-yard average on four kickoff returns with a long of 35.

One player added

Amongst all of the cuts, the Giants did add one player. They signed rookie defensive back Jarren Williams of the University at Albany. Williams, 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, spent his final college season at Albany after playing three years at St. Francis (Pa.) College. In 11 games (10 starts) for the Great Danes last year, he had 45 tackles (33 solo), including three stops for loss, one forced fumble, six passes defensed and one interception, which he returned 63 yards for a touchdown.

Injury update

Defensive tackle Leonard Williams (hamstring) has been designated with a non-football injury. Head coach Joe Judge has expressed concern about players suffering soft tissue injuries after not having had traditional spring practices. This is the first one we have heard of for the Giants.