Sayonara for Strahan
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
Giants Insider
Posted Jun 9, 2008

The Giants’ biggest offseason question was answered Monday morning when a story confirmed that Michael Strahan has officially hung up the spikes.

After a 15-year certain Hall-of-Fame career, Strahan says he has played his last NFL snap.

“It was important that my teammates knew which way I was going before they got on the field to start the work to defend our title,” Strahan told “It's time. I'm done.”

“He’s been a great leader, a great player,” Eli Manning said. “Everyone on this team respects him.”

Strahan’s closest friend on the team, Osi Umenyiora, seemed hurt that he had to find out the news after practice and not from Strahan himself. However, he said he was happy that Strahan, Big Blue’s all-time sack leader, was able to retire, “at the top of his game.”

A lot of the defensive leadership and productivity void will now fall on Umenyiora, who stated that Strahan was “probably the best Giant ever, in my opinion.”

Justin Tuck will take over the starting left defensive end spot that Strahan has held down for more than the last decade. He wouldn’t even admit Strahan was actually finished playing until he was able to speak to him himself.

“He basically taught every defensive end in this locker room how to play,” Tuck said.

Umenyiora said he tried his best to keep number 92 in uniform.

“I tried to (talk him out of it) on numerous occasions,” he said. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to fill his shoes.”

Only seconds after Strahan’s decision become known, the talk began that Mathias Kiwanuka would return to defensive end. It says right here that Kiwi isn’t going anywhere and will remain at strong side linebacker. However, if a move were required, Kiwanuka said he could handle it with ease.

“If they came to me mid-game I could switch back,” he said.

But on this day, Umenyiora wanted only to reflect on Strahan’s record-breaking career.

“It’s a very sad day for me personally,” Umenyiora said. “I love that guy; he was like a brother to me.”

Related Stories
Strahan Calls It Quits
 -by  Jun 9, 2008
What They're Saying About Iron Mike
 -by  Jun 10, 2008
Unhappy Plax to Hold Out?
 -by  Jun 11, 2008

> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> Free Agency &
   Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
OLB Mathias Kiwanuka (profile)
QB Eli Manning (profile)
DE Michael Strahan (profile)
DE Justin Tuck (profile)
DE Osi Umenyiora (profile)
[View My HotList]