New York Giants: Would releasing Roger Lewis send message to receivers?

Aug 12, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and wide receiver Roger Lewis (82) dance before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and wide receiver Roger Lewis (82) dance before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis Jr. was arrested on Sunday, but would cutting him send a message (or the right one) to Giants receivers?

The New York Giants have not even made it through OTAs and Roger Lewis is already making news for all the wrong reasons. The second-year player was arrested on Sunday after cops noticed him driving erratically and found a small amount of marijuana in his car. It was almost exactly two weeks ago to the day that Lewis was supposedly turning heads in OTAs — how quickly things change.

Early in this year’s OTAs, Lewis came out looking strong, completing multiple passes down field and hooking up with Josh Johnson on a long bomb. A few days later, the dynamic duo came out and put on yet another show, connecting for two touchdowns. Coming off of a dismal 2016 season where he had seven catches for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns, this is the type of performance Lewis and the Giants were hoping to see this time around.

After news of Sunday’s incident broke, fans went right back to their negative perceptions of Lewis. Remember, this was not his first questionable offense as a member of Big Blue, as he was one of the Giants receivers involved in the infamous Miami boat scandal.

No, it was probably not the best idea for all of them to take that trip not even a week before the first round of the playoffs. But the most concerning part was the marijuana spotted in celebrity Trey Songz’s hand and the reports of Adderall and other drugs present on that day, per Asbury Park Press.

More from NFL Spin Zone

Do the Giants need yet another wide receiver causing distractions for the team? What discipline will be taken against Lewis Jr.? The Giants were already harshly criticized on their decision to keep kicker Josh Brown around last year — will they face a similar dilemma if they choose to keep Lewis around?

One thing Lewis must realize is that he is absolutely replaceable on this year’s Giants squad. He is not OBJ, Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepherd or even Evan Engram. In terms of his place on the roster and depth chart, he is disposable and his new run-in with the law will not help his case.

Tavarres King has had a clear leg-up on Lewis since late last season and continues to be one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets at this year’s OTAs. In the final two games of the 2016 season, King led all New York Giants receivers with 117 receiving yards, 73 of which came in the Wild Card loss in Green Bay. Manning and King seemed to build a rapport, connecting for three touchdowns — one of those in the red zone — at the Giants fifth OTA meeting.

When it comes down to it, not only is King drama-free, but he is also outshining Lewis on the field. Why then would the Giants still opt to keep him on the roster?

Yes, Lewis Jr. has shown an improvement so far this offseason. Also, in defense of the Giants, it is always better to have more options at a position than none due to injury concerns — especially before the start of the season. It just keeps coming down to the same question: Is he worth it?

At the least, dropping him would have the following benefits:

  1. No additional drama for the Giants, particularly with the wide receiving corp.
  2. The potential to send shockwaves through the locker room with a move like this is there. Sure, some veterans and “divas” on the team will not care, but this would be the first time in a long time that the Giants would take swift action for off-the-field incidents.
  3. The potential for King to continue to flourish, especially without the added stress of a position battle.

Next: 25 Biggest wastes of potential in NFL history

If the Giants were to act on moral judgment and release Lewis for Sunday night’s incident, King is waiting in the wings to make that position his and never look back. What would really be interesting to see is the effect Lewis’ release would have on the actions of his fellow New York Giant receivers. The Giants front office briefly spoke on the subject this week, but more needs to be said and actions have to be taken in order to show that discipline still does exist on this team.