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Projecting the 53 Man Roster

I thought I would do a roster projection for the 53 man final roster for the New York Giants upcoming 2009 season. It didn’t sound that hard…until I started to try and do so. It is difficult, the complexity of roster make ups is only part of the problem.

Those who have read my posts here since I started are beginning to figure this out: I am through. I dont’ like to perpetuate misinformatoin so I wanted to know what constituted, officially, a Roster squad player. And using various different sources (The newstribune in Seattle, wikipedia-which I NEVER Only use, you have to verify things you read from wikipedia because Anyone can post whatever they want on it, and the sportsbusinessdigest.com-which was the most comprehensive). I came up with this:

There can be up to 8 members of a practice squad (I knew this, what I didn’t know was that 8 is not a number that is set and stone and can be altered from year to year), but these players can not serve more than two years on the same team’s practice squad unless the team’s active roster Never, not once, dips below 53 active players. Practice squad players must also be made up of players who have not accrued a season of N.F.L. experience (more than 6 games). There is also an exclusion that a team can get from the league that will allow a team to sign an International player who does not have citizenship in the United States or it’s territories that does not count against the practice squad limit.

The second part of the practice squad is that ALL practice squad players are Free Agents and free to sign with any team in the league, Except for within 6 days of the prior teams upcoming opponent, except for bye weeks when that moves to 10 days before the game. Furthermore, if a team signs another team’s practice squad player-they MUST keep that player on their active roster for at least 3 games AND pay that former practice squad player the rookie minimum for at least 3 weeks (nearly 300,000 dollars for a season so about 60,000 for the 3 weeks he has to stay on the active roster as opposed to the $5,200 a player makes a week on the practice squad). Teams can pay practice squad players more than 5,200 a week if they think that will be a way to ensure the player does not sign elsewhere.

In summary, practice squad is 8 (or 9 players with an international player exception) that can not be “veteran” players, and that are Free Agents at all times (thus not controlled by the team they currently play for); this makes a difference on where people are placed when you do roster projections.

I’m Going to project what I think the Giants Should Do and hopefully will do based on what I’ve seen so far, so keep that in mind.

QB (2): Eli Manning, David Carr.

This is where the practice squad stuff gets difficult. Eli Manning has played in every single game every season, doesn’t take that many sacks (28, 25, 27, 27 the past four seasons, in comparison Mcnabb has taken 23, 44 the past two seasons-the two seasons prior to that he played in no more than 10 games in any season) so unless something bad happens Manning will take every snap this year so there is probably no reason to keep 3 QB’s on the active roster. I mean there could be a serious issue where Manning gets hurt and then Carr gets hurt, but that seems very unlikely.

The hard part would be deciding who to part with between Bomar and Woodson. I would say keep Bomar to the practice squad and let Woodson go.

This is what I would do, my guess is that the Giants will keep 3 on their active roster and move one to the Scout team because I can see Coughlin gambling and being hung out to dry by a decision like this. What doesn’t help the cause is the Giants don’t have an Antwan Randel El, Dennis Dixon, Hines Ward emergency QB type of player who has college QB experience.

Running Back (4). Jacobs, Bradshaw, Danny Ware, Hedgecock (6 total players so far)

I would have been confident in keeping five had Andre Brown not get hurt, but he did. I think keeping three running backs would be nice, but Jacobs has a history of getting dinged up, and Bradshaw weights “198? pounds, and it scares me to think he could become injured. If you keep Patrick you have to hope that he can significantly contribute on Special teams because he’s taking depth away at other important positions. I wouldn’t keep him on the roster.

Wide Receiver: (7) Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss, Derek Hagan. (13 players total so far)

The Glaring “cut” here is of course David Tyree. Look Tyree is going to be 30 years old and has 5 more reception yards and 1 TD in his career than Dererk Hagan. Hagan was a good special team’s player with the Dolphins and he has very good upside. He was uber productive at Arizona State in college and had a reputation of dropping too many passes, but he hasn’t in Training Camp and in the pre-season game he looked fluid and strong. There are absolutely five locks for this team: Hixon, Smith, Manningham, Nicks and Barden. The Giants may only keep 6 and in that case Hagan, Tyree, and Moss would battle for the final spot, but the team seems to like Moss so I think he stays.

Tight End (4): Kevin Boss, Michael Matthews, Lee Vickers, Travis Beckum (17 players so far).

Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum are locks. I think the Giants will (and should) only keep 4 Tight Ends. Lee Vickers has a reputation of being a good special team’s player, which is important (I think he’s a long snapper). I think he’ll make the team. I think it’s a toss-up between Matthews and Darcey Johnson for the final spot. Matthews has a reputation of being a good blocker and Boss and Beckum are pass catchers so I think he’ll stay. The other one might move to the practice squad where I doubt they’ll get picked up.

OL (9): Diehl, Suebert, O’hara, Snee, Mckenzie. Backups: Beatty, Whimper, Tutan Reyes, Kevin Boothe. (26 players so far)

There are 7 locks for the OL. The five starters, Beatty, and Tutan Reyes. The Giants seem to like something they seen in Kevin Boothe so I think he’ll make the team as well. If I remember correctly they started him and Reyes in the pre-season game for Snee and Suebert. Whimper might not make the team and might be replaced by Adaem Koets because someone has to be a backup center for this team. What I think will really happen is the Giants will find a veteran backup center who is released from another team to add to their roster because an injury to O’hara could be disastrous.

I was impressed with Tutan Reyes in the pre-season game, he looked fluid. He had a great guard pull. Reyes has started 37 games in his career and started all 16 for the Panthers in 2005, so that’s comforting.

DL (10): Osi Umeniyora, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Fred Robbins, Coefield, Alford, Canty, Bernard, Maurice Evans, Dave Tollefson (36 players so far).

10 seems like a lot of defensive linemen to keep on the team, and it probably is, but the Giants are definitely keeping 8-the players I wrote before Evans and Tollefson.

If I were running the team, I don’t want to lose Evans. He’s looked very good and I think he can be a 10 sack a year kind of player. I think another team would scoop him up off of the practice squad. Tollefson had 3.5 sacks last year in spot duty, which is really impressive. There are some teams who had their team leader in sacks with less than 5 (Bills for one) and those were players playing all game every game. He has ability. I also think that because Kiwianuka has such versatility that the Giants could get away with holding an extra defensive linemen or two.

Linebacker (7). Danny Clark, Antonio Pierce, Boley, Blackburn, Sintim, Goff, Kehl. (43 so far).

Right now the Giants have 10 Linebackers on their roster in camp, the 7 above as well as Gerris Wilkinson, Kenny Ingram, and Zak De Ossie.
I think the Giants will only keep 9 Defensive linemen and they will keep 8 linebackers. The linebacker I think they will keep is Zak De Ossie. If the Giants don’t keep Tyree, I don’t’ think they would want to lose their two best special teams players over the past two seasons. De Ossie is an emergency, emergency game linebacker, but he can do a lot of things on Special Teams well and for a team that should be in Super bowl contention you need those kind of players.

I think Gerris Wilkinson has run his course with the Jints. He didn’t look impressive in the last pre-season game, he is always hurt and he doesn’t seem to have the drive a lot of other players do. Jonathan Goff is, perhaps the future Middle linebacker for the Giants, I think his roster spot is safe.

I really, really like Kenny Ingram’s potential as a LB and would like to see him on the practice squad roster.

Secondary (8): Phillips, Michael Johnson, C.C. Brown, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Terrel Thomas, Kevin Dockery, Stoney Woodson, DeAndre Wright (51 so far)

See what I mean? Projecting a roster gets very tough. This is why I think the Giants will probably only keep 8 or 9 defensive linemen at most. The way I have the team set up there are a few positions with depth concerns. The Secondary could be one of them, but they should be all right. The Giants have a LOT of young talent in the secondary as they do with the Defensive lines.

I have really liked the way Bruce Johnson has been playing in camp, and if he can play some Safety he might make the roster. DeAndre Wright seems a bit behind so he might be relegated to the practice squad, but he has pretty good potential. Shareef Rasheed is one of only 4 players listed on giants.com as a Safety for the Giants and they may want to keep four safeties.

I think the are O.K. with 3 safeties because I honestly believe Terrell Thomas could convert to safety real fast.

Special teams: Kicker-Tynes.
Punter-Feagles.

All right there you have A projected 53 man roster.
Let me know what you think.

I think the Giants have so much young potential that they are not going to be able to satisfy everyone. I think they will have to make some tough decisions on which section of their team to expose to potential depth problems.

I think the versatility of Clint Sintim to be able to move to a Defensive end will leave the Giants with the opportunity to keep only 8 defensive linemen. And that potential for Kiwanuka to play Linebacker in an absolute emergency will let the Giants keep potentially only 7 linebackers.

I think the versatility of Terrell Thomas to play Safety (potentially) will let the Giants skim one Defensive back off the roster they may not otherwise. I think Running back will be left exposed because I think there are too many other talented players on the roster to put on the practice squad.

My Practice Squad would be:

QB Rhett Bomar, RB Allen Patrick, LB Kenny Ingram, OL Andrew Carnahan, WR Taye Biddle, DL Robert Henderson, CB Bruce Johnson, S Shareef Rasheed.

So there’s a look at the potential 53 man roster for the New York Giants, but obviously a lot of the players could certainly change. There are probably 40 players who are locks for the team which gives the Giants some fluidity for the final roster, but not nearly as much as they would like to have. When you try and break-down a 53 man roster you see why teams like the Patriots draft players who have flexibility over players who are more physically gifted or talented, it really bolsters the depth up and down the football team.

As always, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. (I have responded to the comments people made in my last post).

Have a nice day, everyone.


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5 Responses to “Projecting the 53 Man Roster”

  1. Dave says:

    De Ossie isn’t going anywhere. He is a pro bowl long snapper.

  2. Scott says:

    Agreed, De Ossie doesnt get cut. I dont think Vickers makes it especially if De Ossie is there.

    I would also keep 2 QB’s but also think the giants will keep 3. I think they cut Woodson and keep Bomar on the roster. I dont know if they want to risk putting him on the PS.

    I think Koets stays and Whimper gets the AX. Just seems like a numbers game there even if they bring in another backup center.

    Also agreed that the Gerris Wilkinson era should end.

    The last secondary spot is a tough one to call.

  3. […] HERE to read the […]

  4. royhobbs7 says:

    Wilkinson will make the team with DeOssie; so will either Bruce Johnson, Shareef Rasheed or Vince Anderson (the two who don’t make it will be taxied).
    Vickers will not make it; Evans will be placed on the taxi along with Patrick. Whimper gets cut and Koets makes it (Coughlin likes him).
    The other name who does not make it is Alford who goes to Denver along with Hixon and a 3rd round pick for Marshall.

  5. […] is not a new exercise to GiantsGab–Jesse Bartolis did it a little while back, but I thought I’d add my two cents to the […]

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