Thursday, August 15, 2013

Projected 53-man roster on opening night: ROUND 4

Here are my last 3 attempts at predicting the Giants' opening night 53-man roster in Dallas on September 8th:

Here goes with attempt #4...

First, here are the positional breakdowns:

Now here are the players themselves:

All of this is a guesstimate based on what I've been reading from various online sources that I value (i.e., Training Camp reports from Patricia Traina, Paul Dottino, & radio interviews of Giants' front office personnel/coaching staff). I was going to originally make this my next to last guess at the 53-man roster, but I'm going to do an extra one since I'm having so much fun doing it a week from today (Thursday, August 22nd---the day after training camp breaks) before my final official guess of the 53-man roster on August 30th, the day after the Giants' 4th and final preseason game n New England. Final Cuts are to be announced by 6 pm New York time on Saturday, August 31st. Take a look at the 2013-2014 NFL Calendar below:

From the sound of the interview Joe & Evan of WFAN had with Giants' G.M. Jerry Reese, it sounds like they're going to take JPP off of the PUP List before the start of the regular season. They took Chris Snee and Terrell Thomas off of that list on August 6th. Right now, besides JPP, only two more players remain on the PUP List: DT Markus Kuhn and FB Henry Hynoski. My guess is that Hynoski & Kuhn remain on it to start the season, whereas JPP comes off of it in time to start the season, even if he's inactive for the first couple of games or so.

The Giants have two players who will start the season serving 4-game suspensions in WR Brandon Collins and Safety Will Hill. The Giants will have to make decisions regarding both Collins and Hill after week 4 of the regular season, one way or the other (to release them or to cut someone on the roster in order to give them a spot). Collins is a guy who is ideal for the Practice Squad. He is very likely to clear waivers if he's released after his suspension is done after week 4, and then be eligible to be signed to the Giants' Practice Squad after he clears waivers.

I'm guessing that Hill takes the place of Tyler Sash after he comes back after week 4 or week 5 The Giants can ask for a a one week roster exemption granting them an extra week to decide what to do, like they did last year with Sash after he opened the season serving a 4-game suspension. The thing about that is that Sash's contract is not guaranteed if he's on the opening day 53-man roster. The contracts of players with less than 4 years of accrued experience are not guaranteed salary cap-wise. Players who are likely to be released are players with less than 4 years worth of experience, like Sash (who has two) or Donnell (who has none).

Besides Will Hill and Brandon Collins, the Giants have one player on the Reserve/Retired List--FB Ryan D'Imperio. As Jason Fitzgerald explained to me via twitter, the team maintains his rights, but his salary comes off the books:

The other list that the Giants have players on is the Waived/Injured List. The Giants have 3 players placed on that list. They will all receive or have received Injury Settlements. They are CB Antonio Dennard, WR Kris Adams, and WR Jeremy Horne. Dennard has already received an Injury Settlement from the Giants. The other two are no doubt in the process of getting done. Injury Settlements count against the cap once the Top 51 Rule ceases on September 5th, 3 weeks from today.

Once Hynsoki comes off of the PUP List in week 7, I'm guessing that the Giants cut a WR (Barden), or possibly even a 4th TE like Larry Donnell who I wouldn't be shocked to see make the team at this point. The Giants' coaching staff has been talking him up a lot. As far as Kuhn is concerned, I think his fate and that of Marvin Austin are intertwined. If Austin shows nothing during his time on the active roster, and injuries aren't a factor---which is very likely to be wishful thinking since they almost always are---then I'd say Kuhn takes Austin's roster spot. Either that, or the Giants IR Kuhn, and save them both for next year, when a guy like Shaun Rogers will not likely be on the roster again since he's on a one-year Minimum Salary Benefit (MSB) deal.

Players who I'm giving the benefit of the doubt too who I placed on the roster as of now, but who are still skating on thin ice are DT Marvin Austin and CB Terrell Thomas. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't make it, but I think that, as of now, the Giants will give them a shot. Of course, injuries will make your decisions for you, but so far they haven't been a big problem at Giants' training camp (knock on wood). Other than Antrel Rolle's ankle scare--he should be ready for the regular season opener in Dallas on September 8th--the Giants have been rather fortunate in the injury department.

I wouldn't be shocked to see S Cooper Taylor (5th round pick out of Richmond) be placed on Injured Reserve. He's been on it for a spell now due to a sore hamstring. Victor Cruz spent the whole year on IR in 2012 for that very same reason. This is just a guess from me, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case here as well. We can only wait and see. Last year we saw the Giants stash Brandon Mosley on IR. Every year it happens with someone who has in injury that doesn't seem all that serious, but which ultimately eases their transition to that nebulous position on an NFL roster, giving a team a whole year to indoctrinate a player within it's "culture", so to speak, without risking losing him to another club.

I think that the Giants will find a RB on another team's roster after final cuts are made on Saturday, August 31st. RB Da'Rel Scott does NOT look long for this team. Other players, in my opinion, who seem like thy're going to get the axe as of now are:
  • RB Ryan Torain
  • QB Curtis Painter (in a manufactured backup QB competition w/David Carr)
  • Larry Donnell (even though good things have been said about him)
  • OG Eric Herman (he seems ticketed to the Practice Squad if he can clear waivers as a 7th round pick)
  • DE Adrian Tracy
  • DE Justin Trattou
  • DT Mike Patterson (this one has me torn because he can still play, but Austin's potential--as opposed to his actual production--seems to take precedence)
  • LB Kyle Bosworth (he's been a Special Teams demon so far from all reports)

My guess is that these 8 make the Practice Squad (assuming they're not claimed after being waived):

The Giants have made 3 roster moves since my last guess at the roster on July 30th. FB Ryan D'Imperio, WR Jeremy Horne, and WR Kris Adams are no longer on the 90-man roster from that time. Added to it in their place are WR Julian Talley, WR Marcus Harris, & FB Ben Guidugli. Let's see what happens between now, and a week from today when make my next 53-man roster projection. Hopefully, no injuries will occur that will force the Giants' hands with respect to how thy decide to shape their depth chart.