The Giants also made a couple of other surprising moves Saturday in reaching the 53-man limit, waiving quarterback Rhett Bomar, veteran wide receiver Derek Hagan and tight end Bear Pascoe.
Also cut were defensive ends Tommie Hill and Alex Hall; defensive tackles Dwayne Hendricks and Nate Collins; cornerbacks Seth Williams and Courtney Brown; safeties John Busing, Matt O'Hanlon and Sha'reff Rashad; quarterback Dominic Randolph; running backs Gartrell Johnson and Andre Brown; fullback Jerome Johnson; wide receiver Tim Brown; tight end Scott Chandler; center Jim Cordle and offensive tackles Dennis Landolt, Jacob Bender and Herb Taylor.
Hall and Brown were waived/injured. Hagan, Whimper and Busing had their contracts terminated.
"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 of the way in which you would rank the ability level of all the players on the team," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
The Giants typically make a move or two in the week leading up to the opener, so the roster probably will be tweaked.
The defensive and offensive lines are the deepest spots on the team, and Alford, who missed last season because of anterior cruciate ligament surgery, and Whimper fell victim to the depth.
Bomar and Hagan probably lost their jobs Friday when the Giants acquired veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels and running back-special teams maven Darius Reynaud from the Minnesota Vikings for a couple of future picks.
A second-year pro who has never played in an NFL regular-season game, Bomar played the entire second preseason game because of injuries to Manning and Jim Sorgi. It seemed that Bomar nailed down the backup job with a good performance Thursday night against the New England Patriots, but the Giants eventually decided they wanted an experienced backup.
"Bomar's progress has been outstanding," Coughlin said. "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."
Pascoe was let go because the Giants decided to keep second-year tight end Travis Beckum, who missed most of training camp with a hamstring and neck injuries. For a week in camp, Pascoe was the only healthy tight end.
"There was an awful lot of sentiment for Bear, because of what he was able to do," Coughlin said.
A third-round draft pick in 2007, Alford was an up-and-coming linemen until his injury in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears last summer. His most memorable play as a Giant was a sack of Tom Brady on the final Patriots series in Super Bowl XLII, helping nail down the title.
"It was competitive in that spot this year," Coughlin said. "Even though we still feel like we have a ways to go to have the front that we say we have, it was a very difficult choice to have to make."
Whimper, a fourth-round pick in 2006, played in all 16 regular-season games and four postseason games -- mostly as a backup -- in the 2007 season. He got a lot of playing time in the preseason, but it wasn't enough to get him a job again.
The only other surprise was the release of Brown. The fourth-round pick missed his rookie season after tearing his Achilles' tendon in training camp. He looked good at times in camp this year, but he didn't do a good job on kickoff returns.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press