The New York Giants entered Saturday’s preseason opener against the New York Jets with the authorized 90 player roster maximum. Since then, the team has undergone a flurry of roster moves. On Monday the team acquired cornerback Keion Crossen from the Houston Texans, placed three players on injured reserve and swapped out injured No. 3 quarterback Clayton Thorson for free-agent signee Brian Lewerke.
On Tuesday, they kept the roster shuffle going, making three transactions to trim their roster to the 85 player limit mandated by the NFL come 4 p.m. ET.
The team has announced that they’ve terminated the contracts of two players, running back Alfred Morris and safety Chris Milton. They’ve also waived cornerback Jarren Williams, who had been dealing with a quad ailment, with an injury designation. The latter becomes the fourth injured player the Giants have waived in the past seven days, joining Thorson, running back Mike Weber and wide receiver Derrick Dillon.
By this time next week (Tuesday, August 24th), all 32 NFL teams will be required to further cut their roster size by five players, down to 80 players in total.
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Morris Served as Team’s No. 2 RB Last Season
Morris, 32, was re-signed earlier this month after spending the latter half of 2020 as Big Blue’s No. 2 running back behind the now-departed Wayne Gallman.
“It means a lot,” Morris told reporters of reuniting with the Giants. “I spent last year here and got to know a bunch of the guys, got to know the system, coaches, things like that. It’s always good when you get a call back. I think that speaks volumes about the person — from a character standpoint, from a talent standpoint. I feel like this is a family.”
Yet, despite performing admirably in spot duty a season ago, New York’s suddenly crowded backfield has evidently made the 10-year veteran expendable. With the expected re-insertion of Saquon Barkley atop the depth chart, alongside the free-agent additions of Devontae Booker and Corey Clement, and intriguing prospects such as Sandro Platzgummer and rookie Gary Brightwell behind him, there isn’t much room for a veteran back on the roster that offers little-to-no upside on special teams.
In 114 career games, Morris has amassed 6,173 rushing yards and totaled 36 touchdowns (35 rushing and one receiving). This past season, the FAU product appeared in nine games with the Giants, rushing for 238 yards and one touchdown on 55 carries — an average of 4.3 yards per carry. The former sixth-round pick opened up his NFL tenure with three straight 1,000-plus yard campaigns and two Pro Bowl berths. However, he’s averaged just 368.5 yards per season since 2015.
Milton & Williams Get the Boot
Milton and Williams both failed to see the field against the Jets in the preseason opener. Milton, 28, had spent the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans and had carved out a role as a viable special teams contributor since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Over his five-year NFL career, the Georgia Tech product has accumulated 1,000 special teams snaps and logged at least 50% special teams snaps in three of the last four seasons.
Williams appeared in two regular-season games with the Giants last season but spent the majority of his rookie campaign on the team’s practice squad. With the additions of Adoree’ Jackson, Rodarius Williams, Aaron Robinson and the aforementioned Keion Crossen, the writing had been on the wall for the former undrafted free agent.
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