Giants defensive end Michael Strahan has yet to report to training camp and has also kept secret whether he plans to join the team at all. Strahan is considering retirement from the NFL, a decision that clearly has not come easy to him. The Giants have been waiting for their prized defensive end to show up to camp and have responded by fining him more than $14,000 per day he does not report.
According to the New York Daily News, a source close to Strahan said “How could he not feel betrayed? After spending 14 years, after being a loyal and dedicated player to an organization, and now that he is considering retirement, the most difficult decision in his career, instead of giving him space to make this decision, people are talking about fines and replacements?” The “source” gave no indication why Strahan waited until the beginning of training camp to start considering retirement, but wanted it clear that Strahan was not holding out because of his contract.
“I am really sad that this situation is being portrayed the way it is. This is not about money.” Strahan is scheduled to make $4 million this year, considerably less than he could make with another team. He has twice restructured his contract to help the team free up cap space and has yet to be compensated for his “generosity.”
The Giants claim they do not want a “Tiki Barber-type” situation, where there were constant questions whether Barber would actually retire like he said he was going to. Many in the organization thought that Barber would return, which is where the confusion started. However, Barber said from the beginning that the 2006 season was his last and he fulfilled that statement by retiring.
Strahan had the past seven months to consider retirement, but decided to wait until training camp started to begin the process. If he is seriously considering leaving the game, the Giants are going to be prepared. They have already contacted defensive end Simion Rice, who would be a logical replacement for Strahan, and have said publicly that they are moving forward as if Strahan was not coming back.
Strahan is the single season sack record holder, a record he broke when Brett Favre essentially knelt down in front of him for the record breaking sack, and is the active career leader with 132 1/2.