Yesterday was Tom Coughlin's birthday, and it wasn't a pleasant one, as the New York Football Giants' head coach and the team's brass had to cut 22 players to get down to the NFL mandate by 6:00 p.m. last night. Michael Eisen of Giants.com, released the full roster shortly after the deadline, which contained a few surprises.
In terms of position, Big Blue kept three quarterbacks and four tight ends on the final roster among the 26 offensive players that were retained. In addition, the team kept four running backs which include the injured Andre Brown, although Brown could be placed on injured reserve-designated for return list, but that cannot be done until Tuesday according to league rules.
Brown would then have to miss a minimum of six games, a likely scenario given his status with a fractured leg.
Most expected the Giants to carry three quarterbacks, but the surprise was that team opted to keep Curtis Painter as the number two signal caller over veteran David Carr. For now, rookie Ryan Nassib becomes the number three quarterback, a luxury New York has not had in several years.
New York also kept ten defensive linemen on the final roster of the final 24 defensive players, meaning that the team will be carrying a third-string defensive end and third-string defensive tackle on the roster. It also meant that some productive players were released, including Adewale Ojomo, Matt Broha, Marvin Austin and Adrien Tracy, and that Justin Trattou made the final roster at defensive end.
Surprisingly, the Giants cut Kyle Bosworth at linebacker, meaning that the team may carry only five linebackers into the regular season. Bosworth, by all accounts, had a productive training camp and preseason.
Other notables on the final roster include: cornerback Terrell Thomas, coming back after multiple knee surgeries, Cooper Taylor, a 2013 Giants' draft pick who did not play much in the preseason, and defensive tackle Mike Patterson. Patterson is a former Philadelphia Eagle, who underwent brain surgery two years ago after suffering a seizure during the 2011 preseason.
Other surprise cuts on the defensive side of the ball included veteran safety Tyler Sash and rookie free agent cornerback Charles James, who had a productive training camp as a defensive back and punt returner.
Offensive lineman Eric Herman was the only 2013 Giants' draft pick who was cut, but if he makes it through the waiver process, expect New York to sign him to the practice squad.