Giants: 3 surprise roster cuts as pre-season comes to an end

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The New York Giants are deep into roster decisions as the new season approaches. With the front office making calculated moves to shape the team’s future, a few unexpected cuts might be on the horizon.

Some youthful prospects, like 6th-round pick Tre Hawkins, are already making waves, potentially affecting the fate of seasoned players.

New York Giants Roster Decisions: Who’s In, Who’s Out?

Cornerback Conundrums: Darnay Holmes

Darnay Holmes, the fourth-year cornerback, finds himself in a precarious position. Letting him go would mean a savings of $2.7 million for the Giants, with Holmes due $2.9 million for the 2023 season and only a negligible $200K in dead money.

Holmes’ track record, including inconsistent coverage stats like 529 yards allowed, one touchdown, and nine penalties last season, doesn’t help his case. His 13.2% missed tackle rate in 2022 and struggles in man coverage further spotlight his shortcomings. On the plus side, Holmes showcases keen vision on screens and often identifies offensive backfield plays swiftly.

For the Giants, it might make more sense financially and strategically to rely on Cor’Dale Flott. Especially if Hawkins starts alongside first-round pick Deonte Banks, pushing Adoree Jackson to the slot position, Holmes might become redundant.

There’s always the option of a pay cut negotiation, recalling Darius Slayton’s contract situation from the previous year. This move could be beneficial for Holmes to increase his market value for the next free agency given he takes advantage of the opportunity.

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Wide Receiver Woes: Cole Beasley

Cole Beasley’s initial acquisition had many viewing him as a staple in the roster. Nonetheless, a persistent leg injury and consequent missed practices have thrown his position into jeopardy.

Despite being 34, Beasley showcased his skill set during the first preseason game against the Detroit Lions. But his net-zero contributions to special teams and potential availability in the free-agent market later could weigh against him. Given that the Giants already have Sterling Shepard, a veteran slot receiver, the scales might tip in favor of someone like Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who promises value as a primary gunner on the punt team.

Running Back Rundown: Gary Brightwell

Eric Gray, the 5th-round rookie, has evidently become the backup of choice for the primary running back, Saquon Barkley, based on the recent preseason games. This newfound preference sets the stage for a potential showdown between Gary Brightwell and veteran Matt Breida.

Brightwell, a Joe Judge pick, doesn’t necessarily enjoy inherent loyalty from the Giants. While he has had moments of production, running backs in the league are plentiful. Eric Gray’s potential to seamlessly replace Brightwell strengthens the argument against him. With Brightwell already grappling with an injury, his departure seems increasingly probable.