Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants have a lot of decisions to make to reach the 53-man roster limit. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NFL Roster Cuts: Giants' Five Most Interesting Moves

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New York Giants' Roster Cuts: The Five Most Interesting Decisions

It was not easy for the New York Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin to get down to the 53-man roster limit on Saturday. The team made some interesting, and very difficult, decisions.

Coughlin spoke about the difficulty of some of the decisions.

“Some of the guys are really hurt. Some of them were shocked. This is a day when their expectations – you teach them to aim high and they pretty much all aimed high. There was some reality there, too. When you tell them that this time around, unfortunately, it’s not going to work, it’s a difficult thing," Coughlin said. "It’s part of the business. I’ve done it for a lot of years. We do things as a team here. It doesn’t get any easier. It’s not as pleasant a day as some. But it has to be done. There’s tremendous, tremendous pressure on the clubs to get the right combination of people. It’s not just positions, it’s people. It’s the right combinations of people in the right spots so you can have the kind of quality examples and leadership that you need. That’s what’s difficult about a guy like Clayton going. If I was a young guy, I’d be following him around.”

Here are the five most interesting decisions the Giants made:

1. Steve Weatherford over Matt Dodge:
This is probably always the decision the Giants were going to make, but Dodge made it interesting with an excellent preseason. The second-year punter will go somewhere and — probably — wind up having a long, successful NFL career.

2. Keeping four rookie linebackers:
The Giants kept undrafted free agents Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger, and draft choices Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams. They cut 2010 draft picks Phillip Dillard and Adrian Tracy. The play of the four rookie linebackers was one of the most exciting things about the Giants preseason, and the youngsters were rewarded. They will have to perform, especially on coverage teams.

3. David Carr over Sage Rosenfels: The Giants had a tough choice with two veteran backup quarterbacks. That they chose Carr, who was Eli Manning’s backup in 2008 and 2009, really was not a surprise. Rosenfels carried a $3 million price tag, while Carr makes the veteran minimum of $860,000. If Manning goes down for an extended period of time the Giants are in trouble, anyway.

4. Keeping Da’Rel Scott: The seventh-round draft choice appeared ticketed for the waiver wire until he busted off a 65-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Add that to his 97-yard touchdown run from scrimmage and Scott had the two biggest offensive plays of the Giants’ preseason. Can’t cut that kind of speed and productivity. Scott beat Andre Brown for the fourth running back slot.

5. Keeping Bear Pascoe: The tight end/fullback had an awful preseason. He is a blocker who couldn’t block. I still think Pascoe might be on the bubble today as the Giants work the waiver wire.


NFL Roster Cuts: Mark Herzlich Makes Giants' 53-Man Roster

The New York Giants made several changes to their roster Saturday as the reached the 53-man regular-season roster limit mandated by the NFL.

- Sage Rosenfels is out as backup quarterback, replaced by former backup David Carr. Rosenfels was placed on IR due to illness and a lingering back injury.

- Steve Weatherford, a seven-year veteran signed early in training camp, replaces Matt Dodge as the Giants’ punter.

- Four rookie linebackers — Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams — are in. A pair of linebackers drafted in 2010 — Phillip Dillard and Adrian Tracy — are out.

Here is the roster, as it stands right now

Offense (25)

Quarterbacks (2): Eli Manning, David Carr

Running Backs (4): Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, D.J. Ware, Da’Rel Scott

Fullbacks (2): Bear Pascoe, Henry Hynoski (Pascoe also plays tight end)

Wide Receivers (6): Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Domenik Hixon, Devin Thomas, Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan

Tight Ends (2): Travis Beckum, Jake Ballard

Offensive Linemen (9): David Diehl, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Will Beatty, David Bass, Stacy Andrews, Mitch Petrus, James Brewer, Kevin Boothe

Defense (25)

Defensive Linemen: (8): Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Jason Pierre-Paul, Rocky Bernard, Dave Tollefson, Jimmy Kennedy

Linebackers (7): Mathias Kiwanuka, Jonathan Goff, Michael Boley, Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones, Spencer Paysinger.

Cornerbacks (5): Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Michael Coe, Brian Williams, Prince Amukamara

Safeties (5): Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant, Kenny Phillips, Tyler Sash, Derrick Martin

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1): Lawrence Tynes

Punter (1): Steve Weatherford

Long Snapper (1): Zak DeOssie


NFL Roster Cuts: Steve Weatherford Gets Giants' Punting Job Over Matt Dodge

The New York Giants have chosen veteran Steve Weatherford, a former New York Jet, over second-year player Matt Dodge for their punting job. NFL teams must trim their rosters to 53 by 6 p.m. ET today.

Dodge, a seventh-round pick from East Carolina, struggled with his consistency last season. Despite averaging 44.7 yards per punt, among the best in the league, his 34.8 yards net per punt was 41st in the league. His failure to punt a ball out of bounds that DeSean Jackson of Philadelphia returned for a game-winning touchdown on the final play of a game will be his lasting legacy in New York.

Weatherford is entering his sixth NFL season, the last two spent with the Jets. He averaged 42.4 yards per punt a season ago, but his 37.9 yards net per punt was fifth in the league.

— See Big Blue View for a constantly updated open thread on today’s roster decisions.

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