Saturday was cut day in the NFL — the day in which teams have to finalize their 53-man rosters for the regular season.
There were no real surprises among the cuts from either the Jets or Giants, in fact the bigger stories were the few guys each team kept. The Giants kept linebacker Mark Herzlich, an undrafted free agent, who battled cancer while at Boston College. Herzlich had played well in camp.
“Herzlich didn’t bat an eye the whole camp. Physically, he did everything you asked and more,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “I saw him improve literally week by week. He can play multiple positions. He’s very smart. He does an outstanding job on special teams. He’s told one time and he goes and does it. He deserves it.”
One other cut of note was punter Matt Dodge. Dodge, who was anything but a fan favorite last year, lost the punting competition to former Jet punter Steve Weatherford. Dodge heard boos all preseason.
“That was a tough, tough decision. It was a tough call and a difficult thing to talk to Matt,” Coughlin said. “I saw his growth and maturity and focus, which was illustrated most by a game here at home when he was booed by our fans and he punted the ball 63 yards and after that I didn’t hear much.”
The Jets kept defensive end Aaron Maybin, a late signing after he was cut by the Bills during training camp. Maybin was a bust as a first-round pick for Buffalo, but the Jets were in need of a pass rusher and will take a chance with Maybin.
UPDATE (Sunday, Sept. 4, 5 p.m.): One day after Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Maybin just made the cut, Maybin was released by the Jets. He was not signed to the practice squad. The Jets also announced they have placed backup quarterback Greg McElroy on injured reserve, making him out for the season. He had right thumb surgery after dislocating it in the final preseason game.
Even though today was the official cut day, it is of course important to note that roster changes can and will be made throughout the season.
The full list of Giants cuts are as follows (some notable names in bold):
Wide receiver Michael Clayton, tight end Daniel Coats, guard Ikechuku Ndukwe, center Chris White, defensive tackle Gabe Watson, kicker Rhys Lloyd, linebackers Phillip Dillard and Adrian Tracy, punter Matt Dodge, quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, running backs Andre Brown and Charles Scott, tight end Christian Hopkins, wide receiver Darius Reynaud, tackles Jamon Meredith and Jarriel King, center Jim Cordle, defensive ends Ayanaga Okpokowuruk, Craig Marshall, Alex Hall and Justin Trattou and Dwayne Hendricks and defensive backs Joe Burnett, David Sims and Jerrard Tarrant. Quarterback Sage Rosenfels was placed on injured reserve and safety Brian Jackson was waived/injured.
UPDATE (Sunday, Sept. 4, 5 p.m.): R. Perrilloux. A. Brown, C. Hopkins, D. Hendricks. J. Trattou, A. Tracy all signed to practice squad.
The full list of Jets cuts are as follows (some notable names in bold):
Cornerbacks Ellis Lankster and Julian Posey, tight ends Josh Baker and Keith Zinger, defensive linemen Jarron Gilbert and Lorenzo Washington, safeties Tracy Wilson, Davon Morgan and Byron Landor, center Robby Felix, wide receivers Patrick Turner, Scotty McKnight, Michael Campbell and Dan DePalma, offensive tackles Dennis Landolt, Nevin McCaskill and Pete Clifford, quarterback Drew Willy, running back Chris Jennings, guards Zane Taylor, Matt Kroul and Trevor Canfield, linebackers Eddie Jones, Joey LaRocque and Brasthon Satelen. The Jets also traded safety Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars for a draft pick.
UPDATE (Sunday, Sept. 4, 5 p.m.): P. Turner, J. Baker, T. Canfield, J. Posey, J. Gilbert, M. Kroul all signed to practice squad. They also claimed former Patriots and Dolphins QB Kevin O’Connell and former University of Cincinnati (and Rams) WR Mardy Gilyard off waivers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Jets also put in a claim for former Pats receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate, who was awarded to the Bengals.
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