Giants go down to 53-man limit: Davis Webb cut, Darius Slayton in squad – for now

The latest answers in the “will he or will he not?” debates. So far, it’s a no for quarterback Davis Webb and a yes for wide receiver Darius Slayton.

For the moment.

Webb was waived despite a strong performance this summer. Slayton was retained despite training camp and an injury-hampered pre-season, as he apparently didn’t gain much traction with the new coaching staff. Both of those decisions are subject to change, of course, as the Giants are expected to be active on the waiver wire and the players who made that cut won’t be around by the end of the week. This is really the “initial” list of 53 players.

Davis Webb and Darius Slayton
USA TODAY Sports; bill kostrun

It’s unlikely to be a goodbye for Webb, who could at the very least return to the practice squad unless another team wants to sign him to their roster.

Sometimes a player does everything he can to make the team but there’s no place to put it. That’s what happened to Webb. Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor are ahead of Webb on the depth chart, however, and given the needs elsewhere, keeping three quarterbacks on the roster apparently isn’t a decision the Giants want to make.

“As far as managing our roster, that’s where we’ve gone at this point,” coach Brian Daboll said. “I think Davis did a really good job. We’ll see how it all plays out.”

This isn’t the first time Webb has been let go by the Giants. He is a third-round pick in 2017 and spent his freshman year on the practice squad. He didn’t make the team in 2018, cut in favor of Kyle Lauletta, a draft pick from a new front office regime.

Webb spent a year on the Jets’ practice squad and the past three seasons with the Bills on their practice squad. Those three years gave him a thorough indoctrination into Daboll’s offensive system – Daboll was the offensive coordinator at Buffalo. That familiarity showed, as Webb completed 60 of 81 passes for 458 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in his three preseason games.

“I think with the way he played through pre-season and training camp, you see his comfort in the system and how well he knew it,” Jones said. “It was a big part of all of us to pick it up and learn it and it’s been huge for that process.”

Taylor was forced out of the game last Sunday with a back injury, but Daboll said Taylor should be fine.

Webb, 27, has made no secret of his desire to become a coach but he wants to extinguish his opportunities as a player before moving on.

Slayton survived that series of cuts, but it’s no secret the Giants would trade him if they could work out a deal that makes sense, given he’s got $2.5 million on the roster. salary cap and that he hasn’t made a comfortable adjustment to Daboll’s passing offense. He was slowed by a hamstring issue and was able to take to the pitch for the pre-season finale.

“Yeah, we’ll see,” Daboll said of Slayton. “We will see where we are now. We had a good conversation with Darius about the expectations and the role. He did a good job and we are delighted to have him.

“He had this little injury that he is fighting. Right before that injury for this week, Patriots week, he was doing a good job in practice where you could see his speed and he did a good job with us.

Slayton, 25, caught eight touchdown passes as a rookie in 2019 and had 98 receptions his first two years before a dip last season. He knows he’s been pushed back on the depth board this summer and his name has come up in trade talks.

“Time will tell,” Slayton said. “I am here today, and I hope here in the future. Of course, I would love to be here, to continue playing with Mr. Jones. It is a splendid place. It is one of the best sports organizations in the world. I would love to be here.”

As for the possibility of being knocked out, Slayton said, “If people call them about me, it’s them. Obviously, their job is to do what is best for them. For example, if the Rams call them and they say, “Hey, we’ll give you Aaron Donald for Darius Slayton,” I’d make that trade too. They answer calls because it’s their job. I don’t take it personally, though.

Daboll is a first-time head coach after 21 years as an NFL assistant. It was the first time he was the first to let players know they had been cut.

“That relationship you build when you have to tell someone they didn’t make it,” Daboll said. “It’s always, at least for me, it’s difficult.”

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