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Giants LB Herzlich now part of feel-good story

Linebacker Mark Herzlich, who had a rare form of bone cancer, earns a roster spot with the Giants.

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Linebacker Mark Herzlich, who had a rare form of bone cancer, earns a roster spot with the Giants.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — On a day usually marked by disappointment, the Giants had one of the early feel-good stories of the NFL season. They gave cancer survivor Mark Herzlich a job, at least for now.

The young man no one wanted to take a gamble on in the draft because of his bout with a rare form of bone cancer is now a member of the Giants.

"Well it is 6:03 pm an I am still a Giant God Is Good," Herz­lich tweeted after no one asked him to turn in his playbook.

How long Herzlich stays with the team remains to seen, but the Boston College linebacker who was signed as a free agent can say he made the final cut.

"Herzlich didn't bat an eye the whole camp," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Physically, he did everything you asked and more. I saw him improve literally week by week."

Herzlich, 23, of Wayne, Pa., had six tackles, a sack, an interception and forced fumble in the preseason and looked good on special teams — a weakness for the Giants in recent seasons.

Meanwhile, the best competition was at punter, and Steve Weatherford edged Matt Dodge. The team placed Sage Rosenfels, last year's backup quarterback, on injured reserve, giving the job to David Carr, and receiver Michael Clayton, a first-round pick of the Bucs in 2004, had his contract terminated.

Saints lose top rusher: The Saints put Chris Ivory, last season's leading rusher, on the physically unable to perform list. Ivory, who had 716 yards rushing and five touchdowns in 2010, has yet to recover from offseason foot surgery or sports hernia surgery. He'll be out at least six weeks.

Bears really cut Taylor: Running back Chester Taylor was officially let go, bringing an expected end to a wild chain of events. The Bears terminated the veteran's contract after it appeared he had been on the way out for a while. He did not play in the third preseason game at Tennessee and left team headquarters thinking he had been released after a meeting with coach Lovie Smith on Monday. He was back practicing the next day and started the finale against the Browns on Thursday but struggled with 27 yards on 10 attempts.

Benson out of jail: Bengals running back Cedric Benson was released from a Texas jail after serving five days of a 20-day sentence for two misdemeanor assault charges. He was arrested in 2010 for punching a bar employee and arrested in July for punching a former roommate.

Trades: The Jets sent defensive back Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars for an undisclosed conditional draft choice and acquired guard Caleb Schlauderaff from the Packers for an undisclosed conditional draft choice. … The Titans traded a future draft pick to the Packers for fullback Quinn Johnson.

Bengals: Right guard Bobbie Williams was suspended for the first four games because he violated the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. … Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones (neck) and linebacker Keith Rivers (right wrist) went on injured lists, sidelining them for at least the first six weeks.

Bills: Six-year veteran offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner was among the cuts despite saying last week that he had assurances from the coaching staff that he would make the team.

Broncos: Cornerback Perrish Cox, who is facing a sexual assault trial this year, was let go. He started nine times as a rookie last season.

Chiefs: Starting tight end Tony Moeaki (knee) went on season-ending injured reserve after he was hurt Thursday in the final preseason game.

Colts: Defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who made the Pro Bowls with the Bears from 2005 to 2007, was released.

Dolphins: Two-time Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson had his contract terminated. He signed last week after sitting out most of last season because of off-the-field missteps.

Lions: Nick Harris was released, leaving undrafted rookie Ryan Donahue on the roster to replace the team's punter since 2003.

Patriots: Two-time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather and running back Sammy Morris, a 12-year veteran, were released. … Running back Kevin Faulk went on the physically unable to perform list.

Rams: Defensive end George Selvie, a former USF standout, was released.

Ravens: Linebacker Tavares Gooden, a former third-round pick from Miami, was let go.

Seahawks: Defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson (knee), a former Buc, went on season-ending injured reserve.

Steelers: Former Bucs tight end John Gilmore, signed as a free agent last month, was waived after being beaten out by undrafted rookie Weslye Saunders.

Texans: Linebacker Mister Alexander, a rookie out of Florida State, was released.

Titans: Fullback Ahmard Hall said his suspension for using performance-enhancing substances is the result of a stimulant he took to stay awake on a drive from Nashville to Texas in February. He will sit out four games without pay and return to the active roster Oct. 3.

Vikings: Former Bucs defensive end Stylez G. White, who signed less than two weeks ago, was released.

Giants LB Herzlich now part of feel-good story 09/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 3, 2011 10:24pm]
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