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Ex-Giants in final 4: Conference Championship rosters littered with former Giants

Kadarius Toney, Eli Apple, B.J. Hill, more former Giants are still playing

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
Eli Apple
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The New York Giants are no longer involved in the 2023 NFL playoffs. Several former Giants, though, dot the playing rosters and coaching staffs of the four teams still alive. Let’s take a look.

Kansas City Chiefs

WR Kadarius Toney — Well, if we’re going to do this we might as well start off with a bang. Toney played in seven regular-season games for the Chiefs, missing three with his latest hamstring injury, after being traded by the Giants midseason. He caught 14 passes, two for touchdowns.

In Kansas City’s Divisional Round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Toney had five catches for 36 yards, a run for 14 yards and three punt returns for 23 yards.

You knew Andy Reid would get production out of Toney. It stinks that it didn’t happen in New York, but GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll tried to make it work with the 2021 first-round pick. It just didn’t.

WR Marcus Kemp (practice squad) — Was with the Giants during training camp. Played in three games for the Chiefs without catching a pass. Has 47 games of NFL experience, all with Kansas City.

NT Danny Shelton (practice squad) — Shelton was terrible for the Giants last season, his only year in New York. I didn’t know he was still in the league until finding his name on the Chiefs’ practice squad roster. He was active for one game, playing nine snaps with no stats.


Steve Spagnuolo is still Chiefs’ defensive coordinator. He is joined on that staff by defensive backs coach Dave Merritt, who held that job from 2005-2017 with the Giants.

Cincinnati Bengals

CB Eli Apple — The Giants’ 2016 first-round pick — who is still prone to an occasional unbecoming social media outburst — has yet to talk his way out of the league. I am even more astounded that he is a useful player on a really good team. Apple started all 15 regular-season games he played in for Cincinnati this season.

DT B.J. Hill — Somehow, the Giants’ previous regime did not think Hill was a player worth keeping around. They traded him for Billy Price before the 2021 season, with word being they figured to let him go after the 2021 season anyway.

Hill started all 16 games for the Bengals this season and had 3.0 sacks and 68 tackles. He had 5.5 sacks for Cincinnati in 2021. How much would he help a Giants’ defensive line that has no depth beyond Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams?

S Michael Thomas — I still believe Joe Judge made a mistake bringing in his personal favorite Nate Ebner before the 2020 season and not keeping Thomas. Thomas was — and still is — both a better special teams player and backup safety than Ebner, who has been retired for two seasons.

S Yusuf Corker (practice squad) — After spending training camp with the Giants, the undrafted free agent spent the season on Cincinnati’s practice squad.

TE Tanner Hudson (practice squad) — Played 11 games for the Giants, catching 10 passes. He was waived in early December when the Giants promoted Nick Vannett from the practice squad. The Bengals added him to their practice squad a few days later.


Lou Anarumo (defensive coordinator) — Anarumo was Giants’ defensive backs coach under Pat Shurmur in 2018. He has been Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator ever since, and had an interview last year for the Giants’ head-coaching job.

James Bettcher (linebackers coach) — Was Giants’ defensive coordinator under Shurmur and at that time thought to be on the fast track toward becoming a head coach. His two seasons with the Giants, though, derailed his rise. This is Bettcher’s first year with the Bengals.

Philadelphia Eagles

CB James Bradberry — Yeah, this one hurts. The cap-strapped Giants had no alternative but to let Bradberry go last offseason. Unfortunately, he landed in Philadelphia. More unfortunately, he had a career year and was named second-team All-Pro.

DT Linval Joseph — Has played limited snaps in nine games (including the playoff game vs. the Giants) since signing with the Eagles midseason. When Giants GM Joe Schoen was saying Monday that there were players he wanted to add during the season but couldn’t because of cap restrictions, I couldn’t help thinking that Joseph was one such player. The Giants needed defensive line help, he was available, and he had the best years of his career under Giants defensive line coach Andre Patterson. The $2.187 million deal he got from Philadelphia ($1.687M base, $500K pro-rated bonus) was out of the Giants’ price range, though.


Alex Tanney (assistant QB coach) — Tanney was Davis Webb before Davis Webb — a long-time backup who rarely saw the field. He is also now doing what Webb could be doing soon, coaching. He has been on the Eagles’ staff for two years.

San Francisco 49ers

PK Robbie Gould — Does anyone remember that Gould kicked for the Giants in 2016? That turned out to be a career pit stop after 11 years with the Chicago Bears, and the last six with the 49ers.

QB Josh Johnson — Yes, that Josh Johnson. The quarterback who has played for almost every team in the league. He never actually played for the Giants, but he was with them in 2016 and was cut during the 2017 preseason.

Just for grins I counted them, and there are 84 transactions listed on Johnson’s Pro Football Reference page. Incredible!

LS Taybor Pepper — Pepper signed with the Giants in January of 2019 and was waived at the end of training camp.

CB Janoris Jenkins (practice squad) — Jackrabbit, 34, is still hanging on to his NFL career. He signed with the 49ers practice squad in late November, was briefly on the active roster, and has played sparingly in three games, including the Wild-Card round game against the Seattle Seahawks. He was elevated vs. Dallas in the Divisional Round, but played only 12 special teams snaps.