Hamilton had been considering leaving the game since at least
December, confronted with a coaching change and a pending cocaine
"It took me a while. I've been going back and forth with it for
a couple of weeks," Hamilton, 32, said in a statement released
Friday by the Giants. "I've talked about it with my family, and
it's time for me to move on.
"I planned on coming back and getting to the Super Bowl,"
Hamilton said, but the Giants missed the playoffs with a 4-12
record. "I wanted it to be a storybook ending. But sometimes in
life things don't always work out the way you planned."
After missing the final 10 games of the 2002 season with an
Achilles' tendon injury, Hamilton started all 15 games he played
the past season.
He finished tied for sixth on the team with 68 tackles,
including 51 solo. Hamilton had 1.5 sacks, all against Buffalo on
Nov. 30. Hamilton had a season-high 12 tackles that afternoon,
including seven solo.
His 173 games for the Giants tied for sixth with Harry Carson on
the franchise's all-time list. He recorded 526 tackles, including
376 solo. Hamilton had 63 career sacks, placing fourth in the
Hamilton was the Giants' fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh in
In November, Hamilton was indicted on a cocaine possession
charge stemming from a motor vehicle stop in May. If convicted, he
faces a prison term of three to five years. He has pleaded