New York Giants: 3 major takeaways from 53-man cut-down

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard, Xavier McKinney, Evan Engram

The New York Giants cut their roster down from 80 to 53-men on Saturday afternoon. With the deadline being 4 PM, the Giants waited until the final moments to make the cut’s official, with several surprises along the way.

It is clear that head coach Joe Judge wants to stick with his team from the start, retaining all four linebackers drafted this year. That means TJ Brunson, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Tae Crowder all made the active roster, which is quite a surprise given they had for seventh-round picks.

With Judge seeing increased confidence when it comes to personnel by ownership, the roster is meant to reflect his hiring.

Three major takeaways for the New York Giants:

1.) Ryan Connelly wasn’t showing enough to stick on active roster despite injuries

The Giants releasing Ryan Connelly was the biggest surprise of the day, considering his production during the first four games of the 2019 season. As a rookie, Connelly looked like he had significant potential, but having torn his ACL in week four against the Washington football team ultimately set him back.

Missing a week during training camp this year was problematic, and the Giants felt as though Devante Downs looks like the better option. I estimate that Downs will start alongside Blake Martinez at middle linebacker in 2020. There’s also a chance that Connelly slips through waivers and lands on the practice squad. That would be the ideal scenario.

2.) Giants are content with WR corps and stuck with experience over potential

The Giants signed a bevy of undrafted free agents this off-season, including Ohio States’ Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor. They also grabbed LSU speedy receiver, Derrick Dillon. Nonetheless, all three were cut on Saturday, despite their overall potential.

The Giants elected to go with CJ Board as their WR5 behind Corey Coleman, who also made the roster. Board has one year of experience, formally with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he didn’t enjoy much playing time, a year of NFL experience in the locker room can be beneficial. The Giants clearly value NFL experience over undrafted free agents, which is often the case when it comes to roster cuts.

3.) Two quarterbacks is more than enough

The era of Alex Tanney has finally come to an end, despite his influence in the locker room. Having him to usher Daniel Jones into the lead quarterback spot was good for his rookie season, but there simply wasn’t a need for him any longer. The Giants elected to stick with Colt McCoy as their back up and released Cooper Rush as well, after claiming him off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys. Rush’s primary job was to help transfer the playbook over to Daniel Jones, and it seemed as if it worked during training camp.

It was always expected that McCoy would make the roster, and he is a solid option to fill-in if Jones is forced to miss any time.