Cancer survivor, Super Bowl winner Herzlich cut by Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Super Bowl winner, cancer survivor and NFLPA treasurer Mark Herzlich was among the 36 player moves made by the New York Giants in getting down to the league’s 53-man roster limit.
The Giants announced the moves Saturday in what won’t be the last ones for the first team under new coach Pat Shurmur. General manager Dave Gettleman plans to scour the waiver wire this weekend to bolster a team that went 3-13 last season.
There were some surprises. Defensive tackles A.J. Francis and Robert Thomas were released after playing well in the preseason, while free safeties Andrew Adams and Darian Thompson also were let go after contributing much of the past two seasons.
One other surprise was the Giants kept four quarterbacks: Eli Manning, Davis Webb, rookie draft pick Kyle Lauletta and veteran Alex Tanney.
Herzlich, who turned 31 on Saturday, had his contract terminated along with defensive backs Leonard Johnson and Chris Lewis-Harris, and offensive lineman Chris Scott.
Thompson, who missed most of the preseason with a hamstring injury, and linebacker Jordan Williams (hip/shoulder) were waived-injured.
Waived were: running backs Jalen Simmons and Jhurell Pressley; wide receivers Roger Lewis, Kalif Raymond, Travis Rudolph, Alonzo Russell, Marquis Bundy, Amba Etta-Tawo, and Jawill Davis; tight ends Ryan O’Malley and Garrett Dickerson; offensive linemen Malcolm Bunche, Zac Kerin, and Victor Salako; defensive linemen Thomas, Francis, Tyrell Chavis, and Izaah Lunsford; linebackers Calvin Munson, Warren Long, and Avery Moss; defensive backs Grant Haley, Mike Jones, Orion Stewart, and Adams; and kicker Marshall Koehn.
Offensive linemen Nick Becton (ankle/wrist) and free agent Nick Gates (foot) were placed on injured reserve. Defensive lineman RJ McIntosh, the team’s fifth-round draft choice, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.
Defensive lineman Josh Mauro will start the season on the reserve/suspended list. He is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
Writing on his Instagram account Saturday, Herzlich said goodbye to New York after seven seasons and signed off with #onceagiantalwaysagiant.
The move leaves quarterback Eli Manning and long snapper Zak DeOssie as the remaining players from Super Bowl-winning team after the 2011 season, Herzlich’s rookie season.
The Boston College product beat the odds to make the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He missed the entire 2009 college season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He returned in 2010 and made the Giants the following season.
“Excellence is the result of CARING more than others think is wise; RISKING more than others think is safe. DREAMING more than others think is practical and EXPECTING more than others think is possible,” Herzlich wrote in saying goodbye.
Herzlich played in 88 regular-season games with the Giants, making 17 starts and excelling on special teams. He was on injured reserve last season with a stinger.
Five of the team’s six draft choices (Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, B.J. Hill, and Lauletta) made the team. Four undrafted rookies and first-year players made roster: center Evan Brown, safety Sean Chandler, linebacker Tae Davis, and running back Robert Martin) along with second-year defensive tackle Josh Banks.
Thompson started all 16 games at safety last season. The third-round pick has battled injuries in his first two seasons and missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Adams had 17 starts in his two seasons in New York, playing in 30 games. He never seemed to fit in the new 3-4 defensive scheme.
With the receiving corps decimated by injuries last season, Lewis started eight games last season, catching 36 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
Moss was a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. He played in 11 games and had two starts but was bothered by injuries in camp.