Giants cut Rhett Bomar, Jay Alford

Rhett Bomar didn't just lose the backup quarterback spot. He ended up losing his spot on the New York Giants roster.

In a somewhat surprising move, Bomar was one of the casualties Saturday as the Giants reduced their roster to 53. Perhaps more surprising were the decisions made to release running back Andre Brown and defensive tackle Jay Alford.

Brown, a second-year running back, appeared to be on his way toward emerging as the third-down back until a turf-toe injury kept him out of the preseason finale and allowed running back D.J. Ware to rush for 60 yards against the Patriots.

Alford was squeezed out at a deep defensive tackle position.

"We put the roster together in the best interest of our football team, the best way in which we felt would possibly balance off our numbers and still be very much aware the way in which you would rank the ability level of all the players on the team," coach Tom Coughlin said in a news release. "You'd like to think you're ready to go in the first game and hopefully we won't have to make as subtle adjustment as we go along."

Other notable players who were released by the Giants were wide receiver Derek Hagan, running back Gartrell Johnson, offensive lineman Guy Whimper, tight end Bear Pascoe and wide receiver Tim Brown.

Also released were offensive linemen Herb Taylor, Jim Cordle, Jacob Bender and Dennis Landolt; tight end Scott Chandler; defensive linemen Tommie Hill, Dwayne Hendricks, Nate Collins and Alex Hall; quarterback Dominic Randolph; fullback Jerome Johnson; and defensive backs Seth Williams, Courtney Brown, John Busing, Matt O'Hanlon and Sha'reff Rashad.

Hall and Brown were waived/injured.

Bomar had been Eli Manning's primary backup after Jim Sorgi tore the capsule in his right throwing shoulder and was placed on injured reserve.

Even though Bomar had shown improvement throughout camp receiving the majority of the snaps since the second preseason game due to injuries to Sorgi and Manning, the Giants were concerned about having an inexperienced quarterback behind Manning.

That is why they traded two future draft picks to Minnesota for Sage Rosenfels and returner Darius Reynaud, who is a running back and may have forced Brown off the roster.

Bomar, who completed 40-of-77 passes for 545 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, could return to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

"Bomar's progress has been outstanding," Coughlin said in a story on the Giants' website. "He's worked very, very hard. He did receive a lot of attention, he did make progress and he did show us what he can do."

Alford was one of the Giants' more promising defensive players before tearing his ACL last preseason. He missed all of last season and was making his way back this preseason. But Alford, who had a monster sack on Tom Brady late in the Giants' win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, was a casualty of numbers.

The Giants are stacked at defensive tackle with Chris Canty, Barry Cofield, second-round pick Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard. Bernard has come on strong the last two weeks of camp.

Andre Brown looked good in camp after coming back from a season-ending Achilles injury last year in the preseason. He likely would have had the third running back spot had he not injured his toe in practice last week. Brown, who is expected to be out for two weeks, may be eligible to return as a practice squad member if he clears waivers.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Ware and Reynaud are now the running backs on the roster.

Hagan is a dependable receiver who contributed on special teams. But the Giants opted to keep preseason star Victor Cruz and wide receiver Duke Calhoun, who came on late in camp and caught a 60-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Bomar late in the preseason finale win over the Patriots.

"It was a tough call," Coughlin said of cutting Hagan. "Derek Hagan is a very good special teams player and he made our team a year ago because of that."

Cruz now will likely be the fifth receiver behind Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Ramses Barden.

The diminutive sparkplug Tim Brown had ample opportunities to seize the kickoff and punt return duties but couldn't take advantage.

The Giants also cut two tight ends in Pascoe and Chandler. Pascoe had performed well in camp when the Giants had as many as four tight ends injured. Now the Giants have just two tight ends, Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum. Beckum has been dealing with injuries throughout camp but Coughlin expects Beckum to return from a neck injury next week.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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