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Weatherford and Hynoski Cut as Giants Finalize 53-Man Roster

Cut day is always one of the saddest days of the NFL season. Each team is forced to reduce its active roster from 75 players to 53. This means over 700 players are let go league-wide, including many fan favorites. The Giants were no exception this weekend, as punter Steve Weatherford and fullback Henry Hynoski were released.

Weatherford’s dismissal comes as the biggest surprise. He had been the Giants punter for the last four seasons, including during the team’s championship run in 2011. Weatherford’s 2014 numbers weren’t great, as his 38.6 net punting average ranked 24th in the NFL, though it’s worth noting MetLife Stadium is notoriously one of the most difficult places to punt.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The 32-year old was very popular among Giants fans. He has always maintained a great social media presence, interacting with fans and participating in giveaways and promotions. During training camp, while a specific group of position players would sign autographs after practice, Weatherford was known for greeting fans after every practice, regardless of which position group was scheduled to sign that day.

The Giants acquired Steelers punter Brad Wing on Friday to replace Weatherford.

Hynoski has been with the Giants since he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Pitt in 2011. He played in all 16 games last year, ranking among the league’s top fullbacks before hitting unrestricted free agency. The Giants brought “the Hynoceros” back on a two-year, $2 million deal in March. Still, the Giants opted to go with Nikita Whitlock as the team’s starter.

Other significant Giants cuts included…

– Safety Jeromy Miles. He was brought in back in July, and received consideration for a starting job given all the Giants’ safety woes, but didn’t have a stellar preseason. His roster odds also took a hit when the Giants signed fellow veteran safety Brandon Meriweather, who made the team over Miles. The former Raven could be brought back if the Giants need another safety.

– Wide receiver James Jones. Signed on the eve of training camp, Jones had an inconsistent preseason, and was beat out by Preston Parker and rookie Geremy Davis. Jones landed on his feet, though, as he has already returned to the Packers, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career.

– Linebacker Jameel McClain. Playing in all 16 games last year, McClain recorded 116 tackles and 2.5 sacks, but did not excel as a pass rusher, run stuffer or coverage linebacker. McClain’s release, along with Ashlee Palmer’s dismissal suggests middle linebacker Jon Beason should be ready to roll Week 1.

– Wide receiver Corey Washington (waived/injured). The second-year receiver sat out the final preseason game with a shoulder injury, and was waived with an injury designation. If he clears waivers, he will head to injured reserve. Last year’s preseason MVP was a disappointment this summer, managing just three receptions for 25 yards.

– Safety Nat Berhe (Injured Reserve). Berhe recently underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his calf. He hoped to be placed on short-term IR and contribute later in the season, but the Giants opted to play it safe and placed him on season-ending IR.

– Center Brett Jones (Injured Reserve). Last year’s CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year joined the Giants earlier this summer, and was in contention for a reserve offensive line spot. He suffered an MCL sprain in last week’s preseason finale, and will spend his NFL rookie season on Injured Reserve.

Stay tuned for news on who made the team, who the Giants have added off the waiver wire, and a full breakdown of the final roster.

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