Photos of players on the Giants official roster
Can you explain the difference between "released" and "waived?" And what are the advantages to the team for doing one over another when letting a player go?
For the Giants' purposes, "released" is a generic term for cutting a player. Players with less than four pension credits are "waived." Those players are on waivers for 24 hours and may be claimed by any other club. If they go unclaimed during the claiming period their contracts are terminated via waivers. They are then free agents and can sign with any club. Players with four or more pension credits are "terminated." They don't go through waivers (until after the trade deadline, when everyone must go through waivers) and are immediately free agents.
We saw Nikita Whitlock play both sides of the ball during the final preseason game. Is this something we should expect during the regular season?
I doubt it. The Giants have a solid defensive tackle rotation, with Johnathan Hanks and Markus Kuhn as the current starters. Their four defensive tackles, including Jay Bromley and Louis Nix III, are 320, 303, 310, and 342 pounds. Whitlock is listed at 250 pounds, which is quite light for a modern NFL defensive tackle. Unless the tackles are decimated by injuries during a game, it's unlikely Whitlock will be asked to play there.