EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today released seven players to get a head start on what promises to be a busy week of roster reshaping.
The moves leave them with 73 players, 20 more than the regular season limit they must reach by 4 p.m. tomorrow. But it's likely the Giants will pare down their roster prior to a practice that is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m.
"We probably will do it before," coach Brian Daboll said today.
The most significant transactions could be additions, not subtractions. The Giants will surely be studying the waiver wire and could bring in several players they believe can help them.
Daboll was asked how active he expects the Giants to be in the trade and free agent markets, as well as waiver acquisitions.
"I think that's a really good question for (general manager) Joe (Schoen)," Daboll said. "I'll try to answer it the best I can. I think that we're open to really improving our team in any way we can. Whether that's active in those areas, we're looking to improve however we can. I think Joe and his staff, we've been meeting all morning on different things. They've been doing a really good job of their communication, talking to the coaches and looking at different players to evaluate. I think Joe is open for business."
View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.
The claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction expires at noon Wednesday. The Giants will practice on Thursday before having off Friday through Sunday. The team returns to the practice field on Labor Day, meaning time will be short to acclimate any new faces that join the team prior to the opener in Tennessee on September 11.
"I think when you bring these guys in, the sooner you bring them in, the better," Daboll said. "Throughout my years of coaching, there's been times when I got players as a position coach on a Wednesday and had to get them ready to play on a Sunday. So, I think our coaches are well versed on that. The biggest thing is to try to improve and upgrade at as many spots as you can, whether that's one guy, five guys, however many that is. It certainly puts a lot on a position coach and a coordinator, but that's our job."
The seven players released today included no surprises. Six players were waived: wide receivers Keelan Doss and Travis Toivonen; guard Josh Rivas; defensive backs Olaijah Griffin and Yusuf Corker; and kicker Ryan Santoso. The Giants terminated the contract of veteran offensive lineman Eric Smith.
"We'll do the rest tomorrow," Daboll said. "I think we have until 3:59. So, these were the immediate guys that we talked to this morning, and then we'll have some more discussions as we go throughout the night and into tomorrow."
Santoso and Toivonen were signed Friday to play in the 31-27 loss to the Jets in the preseason finale. The former kicked two field goals and two extra points substituting for Graham Gano, who missed the game after suffering a concussion the previous week against Cincinnati.
Daboll said Santoso "did a good job yesterday," but Gano will likely be ready to face the Titans in Week 1. "It's trending in that direction," Daboll said.
As is backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who started yesterday against the Jets and left the game with a back injury suffered when he was hit by defensive lineman Michael Clemons.
"(He's) sore, but again, I think it's really what I said yesterday: He'll be okay," Daboll said. "I think it'll take a few days here. He landed pretty hard. He's just sore."
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney did not play in the three-game preseason, but Daboll said he is "hopeful" the 2021 first-round draft choice will be ready for the opener. "We'll just take it one day at a time," Daboll said. "He's been getting better, I think he's getting close, so I'm hopeful."
In their three practices this week, the Giants will emphasize their own progress and not preparing for Tennessee.
"We're going to continue to focus on our fundamentals and do things we need to do to improve as a football team and make corrections off the tape and compete against one another for this next week," said Daboll, who added the team might be in full pads for one of the workouts.
Will the practices be scripted toward cleaning up the flaws Daboll observed in the game or will he concentrate on the basics?
"It'll be a combination of both," he said. "What we usually do is a couple of walk throughs to fix the things we need to fix from whether it's the game or the previous night's practice. And again, the big thing is going to be about fundamentals. So, tackling, fundamental drills on tackling, throwing, catching, blocking inside-out. All the things that you need to be good at particularly in the early part of the season."
Another reason not to wade too heavily or quickly into Tennessee is that Daboll and his coaches don't know how many players will arrive in the coming days and what positions the newcomers will play.
"I'd like to try to get our roster as set as we can," Daboll said. "I know our coaches are upstairs working on a lot of different things right now from players that could potentially be released to people on the street to some Tennessee stuff. There's a lot of things to do in this particular week of the season, getting ready for your opener plus managing and putting together your roster. I'd say it's always good to get into the regular season and start a normal week, but you've got to take care of the things first that get you there.
"I think it's an exciting time. Anytime you're starting out a season and you're putting together a team, it's certainly exciting. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. We know it's never final. You're always trying to manage your roster and upgrade the best you can, but I think all of us are ready to get going here for the regular season."
View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2022 offseason.