That is a bit of an interesting twist for the third-year player, taken by the Giants as the final player selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Crowder played in 13 games with eight starts for the Giants earlier this season, but his role was limited over the second half of the season. He didn’t play any defensive snaps against the Washington Commanders in Week 13, got on the field Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles for 17 garbage-time snaps after Micah McFadden was injured, and was inactive last Sunday against the Commanders.
Crowder started all 17 games for the Giants last season and has 31 starts over three seasons.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was asked this week why the team had moved on from Crowder.
“I think that it was one of those things where it just didn’t work out with the expectation of execution and things just kept building up and building up,” Martindale said. “And you want to give a guy time to correct it, and we just didn’t have the time for him to correct it.”
The Giants have not officially filled Crowder’s spot on the 53-man roster. There is, though, an expectation that Landon Collins will be signed from the practice squad to take that spot. While Crowder was inactive against the Commanders, Collins was elevated from the practice squad and played 27 defensive snaps, with Pro Football Focus charting 15 of those at linebacker.
Martindale said he would be “very comfortable” with Collins playing a substantial role in the defense going forward.
“I think he had one misread out there, which is kind of expected a little bit because it’s been so long since he’s played,” Martindale said. “But I thought he did a nice job, and excited to see where he goes moving forward.”
The Giants have until Friday at 4 p.m. ET to make a decision on how to fill the vacant roster spot.