The Giants are releasing kicker Aldrick Rosas, who faces formal charges in an alleged high-speed California hit-and-run that led to his June arrest.
Sources confirmed the organization’s intentions to the Daily News on Sunday morning.
The Giants did not wait for an official ruling from the NFL on league discipline for Rosas, 25, that would have impacted his 2020 availability, sources told the News. The organization is preempting any official league decision by cutting their troubled kicker first.
To replace Rosas, the Giants are signing Chandler Catanzaro to a one-year deal, sources confirm. Catanzaro, 29, is un-retiring after spending 2019 out of the league.
He kicked for the Arizona Cardinals (2014-16) for three seasons and the Jets (2017) for one before splitting 2018 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.
Rosas was formally charged on July 15 with three misdemeanors in the Superior Court of California stemming from the alleged incident. The Daily News first reported his formal charging on July 16.
Butte County (Ca). Deputy District Attorney Glenn Jennings filed a criminal complaint that charged Rosas with reckless driving on a highway, hit-and-run and property damage, and driving with a suspended or revoked license due to a previous DUI of alcohol or drugs.
Rosas was arrested on June 15 by the California Highway Patrol with “his hands, legs and bare feet … covered in blood” after a high-speed hit-and-run near Chico, Calif., that occurred at 8:25 a.m. per the CHP’s initial report of collision.
Witnesses told police Rosas was driving anywhere from 90-100 miles per hour and T-boned a Ford pick-up truck after speeding through a red light. He then fled the scene of the accident on foot.
The driver of the Ford reported no injuries, but Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told the Daily News on July 16 that Rosas had clipped the front of the Ford in a T-bone fashion, according to witnesses at the scene, and that he was only a “split-second” away from something a lot worse.
The responding officers eventually found Rosas about three and a half hours later, walking down the street about a mile and a half away from the crash.
Officer Ron Simmons of the CHP wrote in his report that “alcohol impairment is believed to be a factor in the collision,” but Ramsey told the News that Rosas was never breathalyzed or subjected to any test to confirm that.
The filling of formal charges occurs when the prosecution believes it can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Rosas had been preparing for his fourth NFL season with the Giants. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018 but had a down year in 2019, making only 12-of-17 field goals and 35-of-39 extra points.
This spring, the Giants had placed a second-round tender on the restricted free agent kicker for the 2020 season at a cost of $3.259 million. Typically a team would recoup that full salary and clear that cap space when the player violates the terms of his contract in this fashion.
Rosas previously had been convicted of driving under the influence in 2016 in Glenn (Ca.) Superior Court. His first court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 8:30 a.m., before Judge Michael R. Deems in Oroville Criminal Court.
NFL Network first reported the Giants would be cutting their troubled kicker. ESPN first reported Catanzaro’s signing.
“I want to thank the Mara and Tisch family for the past 3 years with the New York Giants,” Rosas wrote in a statement on Instagram. “It’s been an incredible ride and I’ve met so many amazing coaches and teammates! I wish I could’ve performed at the level I know I can play at. I have nothing but love towards the New York Giants. The values of character, love, and family are seen in everyday life at the facility within the staff and management. Thank you to all my fans who showed love and support through the years!”
The Giants are releasing Rosas prior to making an official decision on corner DeAndre Baker, who was arrested May 16 for an alleged armed robbery three days prior in Miramar, Fla.
But unnamed Giants sources told the Daily News on July 10 that they would not expect Baker, 22, to remain on the team much longer. And the News stands by that report.
The sources said this in direct response to the News’ exclusive report of a search warrant in the case against Baker and Seahawks corner Quinton Dunbar that provided ample evidence allegedly showing a payoff cover-up at the office of Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco.
The NFL said Sunday it had not reached any decision of discipline in its own investigation of Baker. If the league and Giants don’t act prior to Tuesday’s report date for veterans, the NFL could put Baker on the commissioner’s exempt list temporarily.
That would allow Baker to report to the facility for non-football activities if the Giants wanted him there. However, the Giants told Baker after his arrest to stay away from their virtual meetings to focus on his legal issues, and there has never been any indication their position has changed.
Baker was arrested on eight charges: four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. He still could be formally charged.
Rosas, meanwhile, marks the second kicker in five years released by the Giants over legal issues, but this time the organization was comparatively proactive.
In 2016, the Giants waited until late October to release Josh Brown despite being aware he had abused his wife in the past.
The Giants re-signed Brown that spring anyway and continued to employ him through a measly one-game NFL suspension until more admissions by Brown were made public in October. That landed him on the commissioner’s exempt list, and the Giants released him on Oct. 25, 2016.
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