Giants seek roster exemption in meantime

Updated: August 31, 2003, 9:26 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Fourth-round draft pick Rod Babers failed to report to the New York Giants this weekend, and the team asked the NFL on Sunday for an active roster exemption in reaching its 53-man limit.

Babers did not report to Giants Stadium on Saturday, the day coach Jim Fassel made his final cuts. The cornerback from Texas was in danger of not making the final roster.

"All efforts to contact him have failed," general manager Ernie Accorsi said in a statement on Sunday. "We are continuing to try and contact him. Until then, we have deferred any personnel decisions regarding Roderick Babers until we receive an explanation of his absence and he reports. In the meantime, we have requested a roster exemption from the NFL office."

The Giants officially announced 16 roster moves, many of which players spoke about on Saturday.

Place-kicker Mike Hollis and long snapper Ryan Kuehl were placed on injured reserve.

Receiver Ron Dixon was placed on the reserve-physically unable to perform list. He had surgery on his knee in the offseason and has not practiced since training camp opened in late July.

Dixon, the Giants' No. 3 receiver the past few seasons, will not be eligible to return to the active roster until after the sixth game.

The Giants waived fullback Charles Stackhouse, tight end Darnell Dinkins, defensive end Frank Ferrara, receiver Daryl Jones, guard Tam Hopkins, center Omar Smith, safety Clarence LeBlanc, linebacker Josh Hotchkiss, punter Steve Cheek, safety Calvin Spears, and defensive end Radell Lockhart.

Offensive tackle Barrett Brooks was released.

Eight of the 11 players taken in the draft made the final roster. Fifth-round pick David Diehl is the starting right guard. Defensive tackle William Joseph, the first-round pick, and defensive end Osi Umenyiora are expected to see action as backups.

"I like this team," coach Jim Fassel said. "Overall, I feel like we have a more balanced team. I think we have some newcomers that can help us out. The older guys, the veterans, are a great group of guys. They're not satisfied, they're hungry to win and they're going to work."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press