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Mailbag: Deep threats, international players


Rich in New Jersey: Am I wrong in my assessment that the offense still lacks a serious deep threat?

John Schmeelk: Let's look at some of the Giants' 40-yard dash times from the NFL Combine and/or Pro Days: Sterling Shepard, 4.48; Richie James, 4.48; Wan'Dale Robinson, 4.44; Darius Slayton, 4.39; Kadarius Toney, 4.39 (Florida Pro Day).

There's plenty of speed there for any of those players to be deep threats. Sterling Shepard's 65-yard touchdown catch from Week 1 should be enough evidence. Kenny Golladay "only" ran a 4.50 at the Combine, but he was one of the league's best deep threats in Detroit and averaged over 18 yards per catch in his last healthy season – he wins deep with size and length. Kadarius Toney can run by (or around) anyone. There will be plenty of downfield opportunities for Daniel Jones this season.

Pete in Virginia: When a player fails to make the team, he is said to be cut or released or waived. What is the significance of the various terms?

John Schmeelk: Players with less than four years of accrued NFL experience are subject to waivers after they are let go by a team. Every team has a chance to claim that player on his current contract (in order of the waiver process which reflects the reverse order by record) before he becomes a free agent. Anyone with four or more years of accrued experience becomes a normal free agent and can sign with any team. Those players are released, not waived, since they are not subject to the waiver process.

Bruce in Missouri: Please explain the International Player usage. Why is practice squad OL Roy Mbaeteka treated as a standard player on the roster and RB Sandro Platzgummer, an International Player on the practice squad, treated with a roster exemption?

John Schmeelk: Platzgummer was assigned to the Giants through the NFL International placement program. With that assignment, he does not count toward a roster spot. Mbaeteka was training as part of that program but the Giants signed him as a normal free agent, so he does not get the same roster exemption. He has a normal NFL contract whether on the practice squad or as part of the 53-man roster.


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