Ware, Jones top Giants cuts, Thomas, Rogers on IR
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
The Super Bowl-champion New York Giants released running back D.J. Ware and linebacker Greg Jones and placed cornerback Terrell Thomas and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers on season-ending injured reserve in shaping their roster for the season opener against Dallas on Wednesday.
The biggest surprise in reaching the 53-man limit might have been Thomas. He was penciled in as the starting cornerback, but aggravated the reconstructed right anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, a problem that sidelined him last year, as well. Thomas, who led the team in tackles in 2009 and 2010, tweeted last week that he hoped to be ready for the season opener. The Giants, however, decided he would not be able to play this year.
Rogers developed a blood clot in his left leg after the preseason opener Aug. 10. A doctor said there was a ray of hope that he could play this season, but that no longer exists.
Ware was the longest-tenured player to be released. He had been with the team since 2007, earned two Super Bowl rings, and was expected to be the backup to Ahmad Bradshaw after Brandon Jacobs signed with San Francisco as a free agent. However, the Giants drafted Virginia Tech running back David Wilson in the first round and Ware, who played all 20 games last season, lost his job when Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown played well in camp.
The Giants also announced Friday that veteran cornerback Bruce Johnson, who missed last season with an Achilles' tendon injury and is suffering from a shoulder problem, was waived.
New York terminated the contracts of four other veterans: cornerback Dante Hughes, defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback and offensive lineman Chris White. Also waived were receivers David Douglas and Dan DePalma; defensive ends Craig Marshall and Matt Broha; defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks; linebacker Jake Muasau; tight end Larry Donnell; offensive linemen Matt McCants, Selvish Capers and Stephen Goodin; quarterback Ryan Perrilloux; and defensive back Laron Scott.
Safety Tyler Sash, serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, does not count on the roster.
''It's always difficult to release players that have been here and have really worked hard and have earned our respect and our admiration,'' coach Tom Coughlin said. ''Those are guys like Dwayne Hendricks, who I have great respect for, and DePalma, who has worked hard for us for a couple of years and has done a good job. Isaiah Stanback is another guy who has done an outstanding job here and worked hard and really gained our respect.''
Six of the Giants' draft picks made the team, with the exception being McCants, taken in the sixth round.
There are 16 new players on the roster and the biggest surprise might have been defensive end Adewale Ojomo. The University of Miami free agent led the team with four sacks in the preseason.
''There is a perfect example of a young man for whom preparation meant opportunity and he succeeded,'' Coughlin said. ''He worked and he worked and he worked and he enjoyed playing. He got confident. He sized up the opponent and he made timely, timely plays throughout the entire preseason. He played on special teams. He earned the opportunity to have his spot.''
Safety Will Hill, the former St. Peter's Prep star who disappointed at Florida and sat out last season, also made the team.
Taken in the sixth round a year ago, Jones started five games last season and made 13 tackles on special teams.
''Greg Jones was a very difficult decision to make,'' coach Tom Coughlin said. ''Ware was here for a while and any time you have those relationships with people, it's tough to see them go. Fortunately, these are men and they understand that decisions have to be made.''
A six-year veteran, Ware had 46 carries for 163 yards and caught 27 passes for 170 yards last season.
In leaving, he thanked the fans.
''ur well wishes r overwhelming will miss u all an my team Im not done I will b playing in NFL going BIG! just not here,'' Ware tweeted.
The Giants probably haven't finalized the roster, though. They are thin at offensive tackle with Will Beatty and James Brewer bothered by back injuries and there are questions at cornerback, as well. There are five on the roster, but Prince Amukamara has a high ankle sprain and third-round draft pick Jayron Hosley has been bothered by turf toe for more than a week .
A new NFL rule will allow the Giants to place one injured-reserve player on the active roster after six games. Likely candidates are Beatty, Brewer and defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back).
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