Giants Cut Steve Weatherford, Trade for Brad Wing: The New York Giants have released punter Steve Weatherford and acquired punter Brad Wing by trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 7th round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Weatherford signed with the Giants in 2011 after spending time with the Saints, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Jets. Weatherford tore ligaments in his left ankle last September and was hobbled with the injury for much of the 2014 season. He finished 18th in the NFL in punting average (45.5 yards per punt) and 25th in net punting average (38.6). The Giants were concerned with Weatherford’s declining directional punting, which remained an issue in the preseason.
An Australian, the left-footed Wing was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but he made the Steelers roster in 2014. He finished that season with a 43.7 yards per punt average (38.8 net). Wing averaged 48.2 yards per punt (39.3 net) in the 2015 preseason. Twenty of his 61 punts in 2014 were downed inside the 20-yard line. Wing also held for field goals and place kicks for the Steelers.
Weatherford’s base salary in 2015 would have been $2.175 million and he would have counted $3.075 million against the cap. Wing is scheduled to make $510,000 in salary in 2015. By releasing Weatherford, the Giants are hit by $900,000 in dead money against the 2015 cap.
Talking to the Giants, told they'll spend the next 48 hours looking for safeties as they feel they need 2–either waiver claims or trade.
— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) September 4, 2015
September 4, 2015 New York Giants Injury Update: Center Brett Jones, who left the preseason finale with a knee injury, has a MCL sprain.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin was also asked about the two players who were late scratches, cornerback Trevin Wade (back) and wide receiver Corey Washington (shoulder). “They are doing okay now,” said Coughlin.
Coughlin said he had no update on the status of wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and his availability for the season opener.
September 4, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Friday afternoon:
Let me start off by saying how difficult it was today to say goodbye to Steve Weatherford, who has been just an exceptional, exceptional human being, if I can put it that way, in terms of his – not only what he has contributed to the New York Giants on the football field but what he has done in the community, what he represents, the enthusiasm, the passion [and] the way that he had a unique ability to touch people in all parts of life. Whether it be a sick child, attending a funeral, just speaking to a junior high school group, whatever it might be, Steve had a very unique ability to come in to a room and be the light of the room and get people excited and emotional or speak to them in terms of remarks which showed compassion. When I spoke with Steve today, as he put it, the furthest thing from his mind at that time was to be speaking about football. He was very, very gracious in terms of speaking of his experience here with the New York Giants and what it has meant to he and his family and how he will always cherish his four years that he spent with us.
Q: What went into the decision and what do you like about Brad Wing?
A: Well, you know what, this is Steve’s day and I am going to stay away from talking about Wing or anything else, including the decision. It is not something that is done lightly, there have been evaluations that have gone on from the first day of training camp and the results are what we decided needed to be done at this time, but I am not going down that road today. I am thinking only of Steve Weatherford and what he has contributed here as a Giant.
Q: Do you talk to all players personally when you make these decisions?
A: Absolutely. I speak to every player.
Q: With Weatherford on the field, everyone always talks about that Super Bowl run. Is that something that really sticks out to you as well?
A: Oh, no doubt about that part of it. If you remember in San Francisco, for example, when the field goal that was made that sent us to the Super Bowl – do you remember the guy that was going wild on the field? It was Steve. It was an experience unto itself because he was so excited about having that opportunity.
Q: You are going to have a lot of those conversations over this weekend. How hard is that?
A: So is everybody in the league that sits in this chair. It is not an easy thing; it is a most difficult thing. It is emotional in many ways, but every player that comes into the league – every coach understands that this is part of it, and even though it is by far one of the least popular things that has to happen, it still, nevertheless, has to be done, and we would like to think that we choose to do it with dignity.
Q: Any injuries out of last night?
A: Brett Jones had an MCL last night.
Q: What happened with Corey Washington and Trevin Wade? You had sent out a list of guys that weren’t going to play. What happened in those last five hours that altered them being able to play and how are they doing now?
A: They are doing okay now, but there were a couple of events that came up that put it into a little different category, so they were held out of the game.
Q: Have you gotten any update on if Victor Cruz is going to be cleared anytime soon?
Q: Is there a possibility of keeping multiple fullbacks on the roster? Is that something you have ever done before?
A: Well, first of all, there have been times when teams have kept more than one fullback; that certainly is nothing unusual. Obviously, they were then categorized as worthy in terms of being – whether you rank them 1 through 53 or however, they are worthy of being on the team, so that is not something unusual if in fact those players have fallen into the top part of your evaluation.
Q: How ready do you feel your team is to start the season?
A: Well, we’re going to start the season, so we better be ready. There are certainly many, many areas where we need to improve, and I think we will improve. I thought that there was – for the guys that played in the game last night – I thought they played hard and they competed well, so we certainly can learn something and take something from this. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the execution on offense for most of the night, and I think that an awful lot of that has to improve. I think we have to zoom in on a particular team and see if we can’t clean up our issues in terms of execution and finishing the play and doing the things necessary to be successful. I know everybody probably wants to talk about the green zone, but to me, it’s more than that. There are definite areas everywhere in our game that can be improved upon, but make no doubt about it – the season is underway and we’re going to have to get there in a hurry.
Q: Is there anyone that stood out for you in that game that really sort of helped their cause here maybe moving forward?
A: I thought there was any number of guys who did well and performed well in terms of their own particular game. Particularly, if you just cite individual plays – not necessarily the whole course of the game. Geremy Davis made a couple of plays, no doubt. [Jerome] Cunningham made nice plays. I thought Landon Collins made a couple of plays demonstrating, as I have told you earlier, I wanted to see him have to play the deep ball in the middle of the field and that happened. As a matter of fact, he should’ve had an interception, and he knocked the ball away on a crossing pattern way over near the far sideline, which showed me that his burst was there and he can get after it and knock the ball away. And he also got down close to the line of scrimmage and tackled and did some things of that nature. Certainly, you’d have to say George Selvie played well last night. Damontré [Moore], despite the penalties, came up with certainly a huge play at the end of the game. [Chris] Boswell – how about that kid coming in literally off the street and kicking off as well as he did, driving the ball deep and making four field goals when he hadn’t had really any time to speak of with Steve [Weatherford] as the holder since he’d been back. So there were a lot of individual plays. A lot of people had plays, and it would’ve been nice if [Uani’] Unga went up and had his hands on that ball that he ended up knocking down. You know, I’ve seen people catch that ball, and that would’ve been a nice thing to see. So there were plays throughout the game that were good examples. You had [Kenneth] Harper on the really nice cutback run. You had [Orleans] Darkwa with a couple of penetration runs up front, I thought. We went to kind of a two tight end and two back set in the second half and had some productive running opportunities, so there were plays along the line like that throughout the game.
Q: I know we seem to ask you this every week, but where do you stand now with the safety position? Did Cooper Taylor do anything to sort of solidify himself in that spot? I know he’s been playing with the first team all week.
A: Well, that was his opportunity. That’s basically what it was, and we’ll decide on those things going forward based on merit. Cooper [Taylor] did some good things last night, no doubt, and hopefully will continue.
Q: Can you just talk about your thoughts in opening Sunday night in Dallas in a situation where it’s going to be a pretty charged atmosphere and you seem to have to hit the ground running?
A: Well, it’s the opening game of the 2015 season. Everybody, we’re excited to be playing. We’re playing in the division. We’re playing against a team that was the division champion a year ago, that went deep into the playoffs. So they’re an outstanding team and we’ve been in this format before and we’re excited and look forward to going to Dallas and bringing our A game.
Q: What’s the ideal number of tight ends you’d like to carry on your roster moving forward here? If you had a perfect world and got to choose.
A: Well, if I had a perfect world, I’d… of course you’ve got to have the utilization of the tight ends, and with specific purpose. It’s a difficult position to man today in terms of the versatility that goes along with it. You’d like to have at least one tight end that can accomplish everything, and then others that are very specific, so you could have anywhere from three to four tight ends, and if you were not carrying a fullback, you might even have more depending on how they contribute to special teams.
September 4, 2015 Player Conference Calls: Transcripts of the following player conference calls on Friday afternoon are available on BigBlueInteractive.com:
Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:
- Can a 9-fingered DE play? Giants’ 5 biggest JPP questions by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post
- Missing finger or not, Jason Pierre-Paul is Giants’ best hope for a pass rush by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News
Article on FB/DT Nikita Whitlock: Two-way player Whitlock hoping to stick with Giants by Tom Rock of Newsday