Super Bowl champion Deon Grant will retire as a Giant.
‘I want to retire as a Giant,” Grant said in a press release. “I want to be a Giant for the rest of my life.”
The 11-year veteran played with the Giants in 2010 and 2011. starting 17 games and notching 101 tackles. He picked up two sacks and four interceptions with the G-Men.
Grant was not a Giant for very long, coming to them at the end of his career, but he made an impact on the younger players around him. He was a professional in every way possible. Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record called him “The Godfather” of the Super Bowl XLVI Champs….more from the beat pool….
From Ralph Vacchiano via Twitter: “Deon Grant commanded as much respect from the Giants as any player I’ve covered in nearly two decades on the beat. Media loved him, too.”
Pat Traina of Inside Football commented: “Grant was an excellent locker room guy. His knowledge of the game was also unmatched as he was a guy you could listen to all day.”
From the Giants….
And so he will. The safety’s final game was the Giants’ victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI. He had five tackles on defense and another on special teams.
“The Giants are a connection in my heart that I knew that I was supposed to be there,” Grant said. “The last year that I signed there to go to the Super Bowl I could have signed with a bunch of teams, but I wanted to sign with the Giants. The way that the owners opened the doors and signed me back and the general manager (Jerry Reese) and the coaching staff … we did each other a favor, but it definitely solidified my career for me.”
Grant did not play in 2012. He subsequently underwent surgeries on his shoulder, ankle and hand.
“I had an opportunity to play last year, a few teams called me up, but I always said, once I win a ring, I think I’m going to leave the game,” Grant said. “My last year, I didn’t have to do training camp (he was re-signed on Aug. 16), came in and finished the whole season without having any injuries. I feel like it couldn’t get any more perfect than that. I had a couple of injuries that I had over the years that I never got fixed, that last year when I got the phone call from other teams I chose to get those injuries fixed. That solidified it for me, I didn’t want to come back and play any more after that.”
Grant entered the NFL as a second-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers in 2000. After sitting out his rookie season with a hip injury, he played three years apiece for the Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. In those nine seasons, he started all 144 regular season and seven postseason games his teams played.
He joined the Giants in 2010 and in two years played in all 36 games, starting eight his first season and 12 (including three in the postseason) in 2011. Though it was his shortest tenure with any team, Grant enjoyed his time with the Giants more than he did at any of his three previous stops.
“I understood the game a lot more at that stage,” Grant said. “When I went to the Super Bowl in Carolina (in 2003) I was so young, I was really – I’m not going to say taking it serious. But I was battling a hip injury, a (potential) career-ending injury and every year that went by I was just trying to last another year. But once I got to the point that I was at when I got to the Giants, I was a lot more comfortable. I knew how to enjoy the game instead of just taking it play-by-play or day-by-day. I really knew what to look forward to and I knew what my main focus and my main goal was.”