Like the other 31 NFL teams, the 2021 New York Giants cut their roster down to 53 players. Multiple moves were expected as other moves surprised many. This is the first set of 53 players before tomorrow’s waiver wire period and practice squad formation.
New York Giants 2021 Roster: Five Surprises As Roster Is Cut To 53
Three Major Surprise Cuts
David Sills V
Every year, there is at least one player that gets the hype in the preseason. For a second year in a row, David Sills V was that player. Sills V stood out in training camp before the preseason games began earlier this month. He remained healthy for all of the preseason games, catching seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for the former Mountaineer is the lack of special teams attributes. The two players who made the roster over him, C.J. Board and Dante Pettis, have the ability to return kicks. Sill V making it to the 2021 New York Giants practice squad, instead of another roster, would be surprising considering his impressive preseason performance.
Harrison mostly played with the 2nd-team at center in training camp. Though an injury sidelined him in Week 1 of the preseason, he received plenty of playing time the next two weeks against the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots. The 2nd-team offensive line looked atrocious throughout the summer, but Harrison was a bright spot.
However, many were shocked to hear that he was released, being one of the more consistent backup linemen for Big Blue. The Giants acquired Billy Price from the Bengals, so he assumes the backup center role for right now. However, Harrison is a candidate to sign back with the team tomorrow as practice squads will form.
After Wayne Gallman departed to the San Francisco 49ers in free agency, the Giants picked up Corey Clement and Devontae Booker as potential backup running backs to Saquon Barkley. The Giants also drafted Gary Brightwell in the 6th-round of April’s draft.
While Barkley rehabbed his ACL during camp, Booker and Clement took turns with the 1st-team and 2nd-team offenses. Clement played well in all preseason games, showing potential explosiveness as a backup running back. He finished the summer with 18 rushes for 86 yards and a lost fumble.
One of the reasons as to why Clement was cut is the lack of special teams background. Though, he did play some special teams in Philadelphia, Brightwell took a majority of the running back special teams snaps. Another reason could be that the Giants are holding two fullbacks and that Saquon Barkley will play Week 1 against the Denver Broncos.
Sam Beal and Josh Jackson Make The Roster
Many thought that Sam Beal was running out of lives in the New York Giants organization. However, as of today, he is still living. The Giants picked Beal in the 2018 Supplemental Draft out of Central Michigan. A shoulder injury cost Beal his rookie season. After getting injured again the following year, Beal missed the first 10 games. To this date, Beal has only played six games in his short NFL career.
He opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming into training camp, he was a long shot to make the roster. Beal played the second half against the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots in the preseason. Obviously, the coaches were impressed with what they saw from the 24-year-old.
The Giants traded cornerback Isaac Yiadom to the Green Bay Packers for former 2nd-round pick, cornerback Josh Jackson just about two weeks ago. Yiadom played most of the defensive snaps in 2020 as the Giants second cornerback. They acquired him in a trade from the Denver Broncos shortly before the 2020 season.
Since his arrival in New York, Jackson has only fully practiced once and then got injured. Yiadom played in the remaining preseason games for the Green Bay Packers, against the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. For now, he is on the 53-man roster.
Though the trade had minor impact on the Giants, Jackson would be considered a trade bust, had he been released. The Giants can still move him to injured reserve tomorrow if his injury is serious, that way he is eligible to return later in the season. However, if he is healthy, he is still at the backend of the Giants depth chart.
Giants Trade For Ben Bredeson
The New York Giants backup offensive line looked awful this past summer in training camp and in the preseason games. Yesterday, the Giants traded former 3rd-round pick B.J. Hill to the Cincinnati Bengals for former 1st-round pick, offensive lineman Billy Price. Acquiring Billy Price was not the final move to bolster the offensive line depth.
The Giants traded a 2022 4th-round selection to the Baltimore Ravens for 2020 4th-round pick Ben Bredeson along with a 2022 5th-round pick and a 2023 7th-round pick. The Ravens took Bredeson out of Michigan last year. Bredeson’s job came into question after the Ravens signed former Giants guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency.