One day after the NFL announced a four-game suspension for DE Owa Odighizuwa, the Giants waived their former third-round pick. The move ends what had been an awkward storyline between the player and the team dating back to Odighizuwa’s cryptic postings on social media in the spring which hinted at his retirement. Odighizuwa did not participate in most of the team’s offseason workouts and was not at the mandatory minicamp, but he did show up for the start of training camp.
“It’s unfortunate that things have gone in this direction,” general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement on Tuesday, “but we wish nothing but the best for Owa as we all move forward.”
The timing of the roster move is curious since the Giants would seem to have little to lose by keeping Odighizuwa through his four-game suspension. He would not be paid, would not take up a roster spot, and if the Giants suddenly found themselves in need to help on the defensive line a month into the season they could have had him available.
“That would have been the thought, yeah,” Ben McAdoo said.
Instead, the Giants walked away from their investment in the 2015 draft. Odighizuwa is the third member of that six-player draft class no longer with the team, joining DB Mykkele Thompson and WR Geremy Davis.
Odighizuwa was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. If he is claimed by or signs with a new team, Odighizuwa will still have to serve the four game suspension. He posted six tackles in 18 career games over two seasons, missing most of his rookie year with a foot injury.
“We thank him for everything he has done for the organization,” McAdoo said. “We supported him all along and we’ll continue to support Owa. I really have no details to offer.”