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Star defensive end Michael Strahan sacks Giants by retiring; team caught off guard

Star defensive end Michael Strahan sacks Giants by retiring; team caught off guard

Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan retired after a 15-year NFL career with the New York Giants on Monday that was capped by a Super Bowl title four months ago.
The 36-year-old Strahan, the NFL's active leader in sacks, informed the front office without telling his coaches and teammates.
"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 foxsports.com. "It's time. I'm done."
Strahan is walking away from a $4 million (euro2.5 million) salary for the final year of his contract. He has long said he wants a job in television.
Tony Agnone, Strahan's agent, said the Giants offered Strahan more money to play another season, but that was never the key issue. He noted that winning the championship might have been most important for Strahan.
"I really believe that was it," Agnone told The Associated Press. "He really felt he has a chance to repeat this year, so it was tough to walk away."
Giants co-owner John Mara was disappointed after Strahan telephoned him to say he was leaving American football.
"I told him he's been a great Giant," Mara said. "He thanked me for everything the organization has done for him. I said, 'I think you've done more for us than we can ever do for you.'"
Strahan was the Giants' leader in the locker room. He taught the young defensive ends how to play the position. He was also a gym rat, spending as much time working out as the youngest free agent trying to win a roster spot.
"It's a very, very sad day for me personally," fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "I loved him like a brother. You put in 15 strong years in the NFL, man that is something in this day and age is impossible to do."
Last season, Strahan was outstanding. He started 15 of 16 games, had 46 tackles and nine sacks.
A second-round pick in the 1993 draft, Strahan is the Giants' career sacks leader with 141 1/2. Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor had the old mark of 132 1/2, although that total does not included 9 1/2 the linebacker had as a rookie in 1981, the year before sacks became an official statistic.
Strahan set the single-season mark of 22 1/2 sacks in 2001.
"He retired at the top of his game," Umenyiora said. "A lot of us don't get the chance to do that."


Updated : 2021-07-31 22:43 GMT+08:00