Raymond Johnson III honored to make roster with Justin Tuck's number
The Giants roster was trimmed down to 53 players this week. Among the names to make the team is Raymond Johnson III, an undrafted rookie free agent who signed with the Giants back in May.
Johnson called making the Giants a 'milestone' for him when speaking to the media Tuesday. The rookie made sure to add that while he would certainly enjoy and appreciate the moment, it would be right back to work on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old out of Southern Georgia grew up a big Giants fan. When he arrived at Quest Diagnostics Training Center earlier this summer and was given the No. 91, he understood the significance of the number, formerly worn by Giants legendary defensive end Justin Tuck.
"Day one, man, I remember getting the number and I was like, 'Jeez, I didn't even get drafted,'" Johnson told reporters Tuesday. "So, I'm looking like, this is crazy because not a lot of people know, and I know not a lot of fans know, but I'm a huge Giants fan and I grew up watching Justin Tuck. Just to have the opportunity to have his number was huge to me and I didn't take it lightly."
Of course, Tuck visited a Giants training camp practice last month.
The rookie was sure to grab the former defensive end for a chat while he was at the facility, while also picking up a few pointers from the two-time Super Bowl champion along the way.
"Oh, yeah. I definitely picked his mind a little bit," Johnson said about Tuck's visit to camp. "We talked and basically, he was saying the same thing that you're saying, 'Hey man, anybody can't where this number, so you better be right.' I took that one to heart."
Johnson has performed well throughout the summer. His strong play in practice consistently caught the eyes of the coaching staff, and he also managed to pick up 0.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit against the Browns in Week 2 of the preseason.
Head Coach Joe Judge praised the undrafted rookie while speaking to the media Tuesday, saying he is confident that Johnson will continue to improve his game as he further develops.
"Yeah, he's a high motor guy, he's definitely shown some pass rush skills for us," Coach Judge said. "He's a young player developing, quiet guy, big personality as far as the smile, but it's kind of a big quiet person, I don't know if that makes sense to you. Kind of, if you know him, it kind of does. Definitely gets out there and works hard for us every day. He can play to his length. He's still far away from where he's going to be as a player, midway through this year and this year, next year, and that time he's going to keep on getting better. That's going to happen because of his commitment to the process and work ethic."
Giants announce Michael Strahan's No. 92 to be retired November 28 vs. Eagles
Michael Strahan, the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end who played his entire 15-year career for the Giants, will have his No. 92 jersey retired on Nov. 28 when the Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles.
Strahan was a captain on the Giants' 2007 Super Bowl XLII championship team, a four-time first-team All-Pro, a seven-time Pro Bowler and the NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 when he set the league's single-season record with 22.5 sacks, a mark that still stands 20 years later. He was a charter member of the Giants' Ring of honor.
"Michael Strahan was one of the greatest players in franchise history," said John Mara, the Giants president and chief executive officer. "He deserves to have his number retired as other Giants immortals have, including Mel Hein, Frank Gifford and Lawrence Taylor.
"Michael's career was defined by his achievements, his consistency and his leadership. Very few defensive ends played the position as well as Michael. He was a tremendous run defender as well as a great pass rusher. And he realized a goal every player aspires to, but few achieve, winning a Super Bowl in his final game. We are grateful for all his contributions and are happy to officially say no Giants player will ever wear No. 92 again."
"Michael Strahan was a Hall of Fame player and he is a Hall of Fame person," said Giants chairman and executive vice president Steve Tisch. "Only the very best players get their jerseys retired and Michael is in that category in Giants history and NFL history, as well. He was the consummate defensive end, a team captain and a winner who helped lead us to the greatest victory in our history in Super Bowl XLII."
Giants claim WR Collin Johnson, LB Quincy Roche, LB Justin Hilliard
The Giants continued to shape their regular-season roster yesterday by adding three players via the waiver wire.
The newest Giants are second-year wide receiver Collin Johnson (who was waived yesterday by Jacksonville) and rookie linebackers Quincy Roche (Pittsburgh) and Justin Hilliard (San Francisco).
To create room on the 53-man roster, the Giants terminated the contract of wide receiver C.J. Board and waived wideout Dante Pettis and linebacker Trent Harris.
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands heading into Week 1.