Josh Mauro

Giants Activate DE Josh Mauro

A familiar staple of James Bettcher‘s recent defenses will make his Giants debut on Sunday. The team activated defensive end Josh Mauro on Saturday.

To make room on their 53-man roster, the Giants waived wide receiver Stacy Coley. Jawill Davis is expected to return kicks for the Giants, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets.

Mauro played on each of Bettcher’s three Cardinals defenses, starting 24 games during Bettcher’s stay as Arizona’s DC. Although Mauro is more of a run-stopping presence at end (two career sacks), any additional qualified personnel being available stands to help a Giants team that’s again going to be without Olivier Vernon. Afflicted with a troublesome high ankle sprain, Big Blue’s top pass rusher will miss a fifth straight game.

The NFL suspended Mauro four games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

New York claimed Coley earlier this year after Minnesota waived the second-year wideout. He returned two kicks and two punts against the Texans in Week 3, but Davis served as the Giants’ kick-return man against the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Lock In 53-Man Roster

The Giants will head into the 2018 season without one of their longest-tenured players and one of their 2017 starting safeties, with both Mark Herzlich and Darian Thompson failing to make the team.

A 2017 fifth-round pick, edge defender Avery Moss missed out as well. As did Roger Lewis, a wideout who became needed when the Giants became decimated at receiver last season.

The Giants also released recently signed cornerback Leonard Johnson, who was trying to make a fifth NFL franchise’s 53-man roster. The former Buccaneer, Patriot, Panther and Bill started seven games with Buffalo last season.

Here’s the full list of Giants cuts:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation

Placed on IR:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

  • DL R.J. McIntosh

Suspended:

Giants’ Josh Mauro Suspended Four Games

The NFL has suspended new Giants defensive lineman Josh Mauro four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, New York announced today.

Mauro, of course, inked a one-year deal with the Giants just this week. New York was aware of Mauro’s upcoming ban before it signed the former Cardinals end, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Mauro’s pact comes with a $790K base salary, tweets Raanan, so he’ll lose out on roughly $198K as a result of his suspension.

Mauro, 27, spent the better part of four seasons in Arizona, and started 13 games as recently as 2016. Last year, however, Mauro played on just 31.5% of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps, fourth-most among Arizona’s defensive linemen. Pro Football Focus wasn’t impressed with his effort, grading Mauro as a bottom-10 interior defender among 122 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Sign DL Josh Mauro

James Bettcher‘s presence as the Giants’ new defensive coordinator will help bring another former Cardinals defender to the Big Apple.

Having hosted Josh Mauro on a recent visit, the Giants have agreed to terms with the free agent defensive lineman, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Mauro follows outside linebacker Kareem Martin in agreeing to trek to New York after playing for Bettcher in Arizona.

Mauro, 27, started 20 games over the past two seasons. He’ll bring experience as a 3-4 defensive end to a team that’s used a 4-3 defense for many years. Now expected to switch to Bettcher’s preferred 3-4, the Giants are adding a player who knows the responsibilities that come with a five-technique job.

The former UDFA started seven games last season and recorded a sack. He may end up serving as rotational depth. The Giants played second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson at defensive tackle last season, but with Damon Harrison likely being the nose tackle in 2018, Tomlinson could slide over to end. Big Blue also has Kerry Wynn and Avery Moss as potential ends, although they were brought in to play a different end role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Host DE Josh Mauro

The Giants plan to meet with free agent defensive end Josh Mauro, who was waived by the Cardinals last week, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Mauro would offer scheme familiarity for new Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who held the same title in Arizona from 2015-17. That level of comfort would be extremely important in New York, where the club is switching from a 4-3 front to Bettcher’s preferred 3-4 look. Mauro would be the second former Cardinal to sign with the Giants since the market opened last week, joining outside linebacker Kareem Martin, who inked a three-year, $21MM deal with Big Blue.

Mauro, 27, spent the better parts of four seasons in the desert, and started 13 games as recently as 2016. Last year, however, Mauro played on just 31.5% of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps, fourth-most among Arizona’s defensive linemen. Pro Football Focus wasn’t impressed with his effort, grading Mauro as a bottom-10 interior defender among 122 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/16/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

  • Re-signed: DT Dylan Bradley

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: P Colby Wadman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC Notes: 49ers, Panthers, Cardinals

Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf is among the general manager candidates the 49ers and soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan will invite to Atlanta for an interview next week, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). The team will also conduct second meetings with one of Wolf’s Packers colleagues, Brian Gutekunst, and Vikings assistant GM George Paton, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

More from San Francisco and a couple other NFC cities:

  • Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel could become the 49ers’ defensive coordinator under Shanahan, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com hears (Twitter link). The two are on the same staff now, of course, and Manuel garnered prior coaching experience in Seattle from 2012-15. The 37-year-old was an NFL safety from 2002-09.
  • The Panthers worked out free agent quarterback Aaron Murray on Tuesday, reports Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Murray spent 2016 on the Eagles’ practice squad, but he has been available since they elected against signing him to a reserve/futures deal earlier this month. The 26-year-old was a star at Georgia, where he became the SEC’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions and touchdowns, but he hasn’t recorded an NFL statistic since the Chiefs took him in Round 5 of the 2014 draft. With Panthers QBs Cam Newton, Derek Anderson and Joe Webb under contract next year, there’s no clear fit for Murray in Carolina.
  • Cardinals defensive lineman Josh Mauro‘s recently signed two-year contract is worth just over $2MM total, per Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Mauro will make $750K next season and $1.3MM in 2018.

Cardinals Re-Sign DL Josh Mauro

Set for restricted free agency, Josh Mauro will be staying in the desert. The Cardinals re-signed the defensive lineman to a two-year deal, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter).

The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman started in 13 games for the Cardinals this season, seeing his first extended look in Arizona’s lineup since arriving as a UDFA in 2014. Mauro ascended onto the first unit despite the Cardinals using a first-round pick on Robert Nkemdiche.

Mauro played in 389 snaps for the Cardinals this season and held his own as a run defender, despite providing little as a pass-rusher. The former Stanford cog has one sack in three seasons, and it came during the 2015 campaign. This gives the Cardinals another option at end, a position that could be influx this offseason considering the UFA statuses of Calais Campbell and Frostee Rucker.

The new full-time starter made a career-high 32 tackles in 2016. He forced two fumbles in 2015 and recovered one.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/11/16

Here are the minor moves on Day 3 of free agency.

  • Defensive tackle Josh Mauro signed his exclusive-rights free agent tender with the Cardinals, ArizonaCardinals.com’s Darren Urban tweets.
  • The Chargers are set to re-sign defensive lineman Damion Square on a one-year, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). Square was a restricted free agent San Diego elected not to tender, but re-signed him anyway, per Gehlken (on Twitter). The 27-year-old Square played in six games, starting in one, for the Chargers last season after being promoted from the practice squad in November.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/3/16

Today’s round of minor transactions around the NFL is dominated by exclusive-rights free agents. ERFAs are players with less than three years of NFL experience, who don’t have a contract for 2016.

While these players are technically considered free agents, they don’t have any real freedom when it comes to picking their destinations — if their current teams want them back, all those clubs have to do is submit an ERFA tender (typically worth the minimum salary), which precludes those players from negotiating with any other teams.

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league:

  • The Bears have tendered a contract offer to ERFA wide receiver Josh Bellamy, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bellamy saw a decent amount of playing time on offense, catching 19 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and was also one of the club’s top contributors on special teams.
  • The Cardinals have assigned ERFA tenders to defensive tackle Josh Mauro and tight end Ifeanyi Momah, signaling that they want to bring back those players, the team announced today on its website. Momah missed the 2015 campaign with a knee injury, while Mauro was a depth piece on Arizona’s defensive line.
  • The Titans have re-signed ERFA running back Antonio Andrews, the club announced in a press release. The move is classified as a re-signing rather than a simple contract tender because Andrews has already signed the offer. He figures to compete for a roster spot in Tennessee in 2016.
  • The Buccaneers have assigned an ERFA tender to long snapper Andrew DePaola, agent Sean Stellato tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). DePaola has been Tampa Bay’s full-time long snapper since the start of the 2014 season.