Chris Snee will retire from the NFL (WFAN, July 21).
“I know it’s my time,” Snee said in a release.
The veteran guard met with the Giants on Monday morning to discuss his future (Star-Ledger July 20th).
“Before OTAs started I was confident,” Snee said. “I was moving around great and I was strong enough where I felt that I could play and compete. But then once OTAs came around, I had to punch and stop somebody … obviously, we’re not wearing pads. I wasn’t able to do it. Quite frankly, it hurt. But I thought maybe it was my joint getting used to that again. But the more I tried to do it, it became a concern to me that it wasn’t responding the way it should and actually my (elbow) strength had started to go down in the weight room.
“After those three days of OTAs, my hips (both of which have undergone surgery) were hurting. I was concerned. The elbow is an old joint and the cartilage is gone and the bone is starting to weaken. That being said, I came and I spoke to (general manager) Jerry Reese after OTAs and kind of told him what was coming. He said, ‘Take your time and still continue to work out.’ So I did that and my strength is still going down. That was an indication that I wasn’t strong enough to play. And that’s kind of what my game’s been based upon. I take tremendous pride in the effort that I put in the weight room and being the strongest player on the field. I’m nowhere near that, so I knew that even if I came here today, I wouldn’t be able to practice. You’re trying to catch up and I’ve been trying to get my strength back, but I think it’s time to just let the arm cool down.
“I’m thankful to the Giants for giving me this opportunity to try to come back, but I also told them, I told Jerry Reese face-to-face, that I would give him an honest evaluation and I’m a man of my word. I would not be able to help the team the way that I expect of myself or the way that they would expect of me.”
The two-time Super Bowl champ missed mini-camp in June and the elbow hasn’t progressed as he and the team have hoped.
“Chris is a pro’s pro,” general manager Jerry Reese said. “He played the game right. He was as tough and prideful as they come. We will miss him.”
The 32-year-old missed 13 games during the 2013 season and has had surgery on both hips over the last two years. Snee was one of the most durable Giants on the offensive line over the years and started all but one game from 2005-2012.
“I think Chris was everything you could ever hope for in a player: toughness, integrity, and a lot of pride,” Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara said. “Winning mattered to him. I think he set a great example for all of the other players. He’s somebody we’re going to miss very much. He was one of the greatest offensive linemen in Giants history, and he’ll be on that Ring of Honor someday.”
“To me, he was the best guard in all of football,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “No doubt. No matter who you put him against, all of the great defensive tackles in the game, the 350 (pound) guys, the 340 guys, he blocked them. When he first came here, he was so, so committed and so driven to excel at the professional level as he had excelled at the collegiate level (at Boston College).”
“It’s different,” Coughlin said, “because not only is it a great football player retiring from the game, who has contributed so much to our team and our franchise and has two world championships to show for it, he is a highly-respected and loved member of our family.
“The first time I met him I was with Jacksonville and I went up to Boston College (to scout a running back). Kate (his daughter) was a freshman at BC and I said, ‘Let’s have dinner tonight.’ She said, ‘Dad, can I bring a friend?’ It was Snee. He doesn’t say a word. Not one word that I can remember. You should see him with his kids. He’s unbelievable. He has really blossomed here.”
“He called me yesterday and told me the news,” QB Eli Manning said. “I kind of knew there was a possibility with everything going on with his health. I’m obviously disappointed just because we’ve had a long run together. We came in the same year, were roommates for home games and away games that first year. We’ve won a lot of games and been through a lot together and been great pals, so I told him I’d miss him. He was the last one from our original class that came in together, but he’s got to do what’s best for him. I think he made a decision kind of based on how he’s feeling and also based on what’s best for the Giants. He’s a true team player and just didn’t think he was going to be able to help and wanted to put us in a situation where we kind of knew that early on. We’re going to definitely miss his leadership and his presence around the locker room, around the team, but we’ll still be great friends.”
“It’s going to be weird,” Snee said of no longer playing. “I bought season tickets a couple years ago. I don’t think I’ll be ready to sit in those seats just yet – but yeah, I’ll be here. I still have some older friends remaining on the team and some of the young guys I’ve gotten to know. I’ll be rooting for them.”
John Fennelly, Lead WriterThe Giants were hopeful that Snee could get through this season but he won’t even attempt to begin it. The elbow and hip injuries have taken too much of a toll on the 32 year-old Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.
There was some chatter about placing Snee on PUP to allow him an opportunity to get healthier, but it looks as if Snee sloughed that idea off and decided retirement was a more realistic option. He will be missed.
Now comes the task of filling Snee’s shoes. Brandon Mosley, John Jerry and rookie Weston Richburg (not exactly in that order) will compete for the job with Eric Herman and possibly some others getting looks as well.