Antrel Rolle said it "stings" to see Will Hill -- his former teammate, the player he called his little brother and one of the most gifted safeties on the Giants -- first face a third drug-related suspension and then be released from the team in the past week.
The two had a close bond on and off the field. Yet Rolle refused to make excuses for Hill or current teammate Jayron Hosley, the other Giants defensive back who has been suspended for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse.
Rather than express frustration at the team for letting a talented but troubled player go or railing against the league's rules, he chastised the players who put themselves in such circumstances.
"Will knew the situation he put the Giants in and he forced their hand," Rolle said after the team's OTA workout Thursday. "For him to keep moving himself in the wrong direction, it's not a good thing . . . We know right from wrong. It's too easy to do right to keep doing wrong."
The defensive captain also spoke about the impact the two suspensions has on the team's image.
"That's something we don't need around here," he said. "It's a bad reflection. It doesn't look good."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was equally disappointed in the two players. "If this is your job and you're willing to jeopardize your job for some other reason, then perhaps you don't have your mind and priorities where they should be in the first place," he said.
Regarding Hill's release specifically, Coughlin said: "When you run a business, you have to be able to rely and depend on people to be there when you need them to perform their duties . . . The whole organization is disappointed that it went down that way, but unfortunately it was the right thing to do."
Hosley, who remains on the Giants' roster but will be suspended for the first four games in September, publicly apologized Thursday. "I made a mistake," he said. "There are consequences to everything that you do. I have to be man enough to accept them and move on."
Rolle, who had tried to mentor Hill, said he has spoken with him since his departure from the Giants on Monday.
"I tried to encourage him to keep his head up," Rolle said. "Will knows what position he's put himself in and he's taken full accountability for it . . . It might not be over for him. I'm hoping that it's not. I'm hoping that he finally understands that no matter what happens, if he's given another try, that it will be his last time.
"There's only so much talking that another man can do to another person."
Notes & quotes: First-round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. did not participate in Thursday's workout because of a sore hamstring. The wide receiver said he should be cleared by next week, but Coughlin suggested the Giants will be cautious with the injury . . . G Chris Snee had a scheduled day off from drills while recovering from two surgeries . . . Rolle said despite all of the new players, this year's team already is a closer unit than in some previous seasons. He said chemistry is being fostered by social get-togethers outside the team's facility that include card games, watching basketball and playing pickup basketball games.