Michael Strahan Does Not Report to Training Camp, Mulling Retirement: DE Michael Strahan did not report to training camp yesterday and his agent says he is considering retiring from the NFL.
“Last night I talked to his agent, about 7 last night, and his agent said to me that he was contemplating retiring,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “So that is all I know right now. We have not spoken to him. We will put him on Reserve/Did-Not-Report-to-Camp, so that is what we will do with him for now. Until we get more details, that is really all I can tell you guys.”
When Reese was asked for his reaction about Strahan’s possible decision to retire, he responded, “I thought it was a little bit of a late notice. That is the way the National Football League works sometimes, and I just told him that if he is ready to retire we wish him Godspeed and we will see what happens. (Strahan’s agent) said he might wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to play.’ I think he tried to reach out to Tom (Coughlin) and they did not connect. So we are still trying to connect with him and get more details, and when we get more details we will know more.”
As we mentioned in “News and Notes” yesterday, there have been rumors that Strahan is unhappy with his current contract, which has two years and $8 million in salary left on it. The contract he signed in 2002 was a heavily front-loaded 7-year, $46 million deal that included $20.9 million in guaranteed money. Strahan also received a $500,000 roster bonus in March from the team. Strahan will turn 36 years old in November and is coming off two serious injuries in three seasons. Reese said that Strahan’s agent did not talk about his client’s contract situation. “I don’t know (if it is about money),” said Reese. “Who knows? Until I talk to Michael, we will see. I don’t want to speculate what it is about. Maybe he is just tired and wants to retire. If that is what it is, we wish him Godspeed on that.”
The Daily News is reporting that Strahan was frustrated by the Giants lack of activity in free agency and is worried that the Giants will be a bad football team in his final season or two. Strahan apparently has received offers from networks that could pay him $2-3 million per season. The Daily News says Strahan initially rejected these offers but is now reconsidering them.
On the other hand, The Star-Ledger is reporting that Strahan may be bluffing in order to get a bigger contract. “He absolutely wants to play this year,” one unidentified source who apparently has spoken to Strahan told The Ledger. The Ledger also says Strahan has felt “disrespected” by Reese since Reese took over the position of general manager with the team.
If Strahan does retire, the Giants may have to move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end or bring in another end. “This is the NFL,” said Reese. “You re-shuffle, play the hand you have, and you make it work. We will move forward. We have a short list of defensive ends that we will get on right away. We will bring some people in I am not sure (if Kiwanuka would be moved back to defensive end). We will see what the coaches want to do. That is up to the coaches. They can do what they want to do with that.”
When asked when the Giants might bring someone new in, Reese responded, “We are not going to wait long.”
Reese was also asked about the void left behind by Strahan if he does retire. “Well, I think he is a Hall of Fame football player so obviously it is a big void,” said Reese. “It is hard to replace guys who you think are going to be in the Hall of Fame. I just think it is a big void for us. We do not know anything yet. We will talk to him and when we get more information we will let you know.”
“Michael Strahan called me last night very late and left a message,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “I didn’t get to the phone, it was after 11:30. I listened to the message this morning at about five. He asked me to call him and I called him, but we haven’t spoken yet. He did not call me back. Obviously, I am disappointed that he’s not here, he’s an important part of our team.”
Coughlin was asked if this would be a distraction for the team. “I hope not. We have had enough of those,” said Coughlin.
Giants Interested in DE Simeon Rice?: The Star-Ledger is reporting that one of the agents for DE Simeon Rice, who was recently waived by the Buccaneers, says the Giants have contacted him about Rice. No visit has yet been scheduled according to the agent.
Roster Moves Giants Waive HB Cedric Humes; Sign NFL Europe Strong Safety: The Giants have waived HB Cedric Humes. The team has also signed SS Richard Yancy, who played with the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe the past three seasons.
Injury Update: WR Plaxico Burress (ankle) says he wants to practice fully once practices start today. “I’m pretty sure (the staff will) be watching me, but my goal is to go two-a-days,” said Burress. “We open up on ‘Sunday Night Football’ in Dallas, so I’ve got to go out and get all the reps I can.”
Quotes: HB Brandon Jacobs on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: “Yeah, coach is a great guy. A lot of people think bad of him, but coach is a great guy. For the people who dont know him out there, hes a real good guy. A lot of people think bad of him, but hes not a bad guy, hes not a bad person, hes good.”
PK Lawrence Tynes on the winds at Giants Stadium: “You know I played in Canada for two years prior to coming to Kansas City. Kansas City is in the Midwest, some people forget that. Its windy, you know I have played (at Giants Stadium) twice but they were both night games and there wasnt much of a wind. But you know what? Its just an excuse. Obviously the wind is just the wind.”
WR Plaxico Burress on Coughlin’s demand that his players keep their mouths shut this year: “He wants it to be a quieter year; we want a lot of things. But I guess we’ll try to abide by keeping it quiet. That’s just not the character of some of the guys that we have on this team. But I guess we’ll try…A little bit of trash-talking doesn’t hurt anybody. It adds a little added incentive to the game for me. We’ll see what happens.”