"He is not here," Giants general manager Jerry Reese said
after Strahan failed to report with veterans and rookies to the
University at Albany. "Last night I talked to his agent [Tony
Agnone] and his agent said to me at seven o'clock last night that
he is contemplating retirement. That's all I know right now."
Neither Reese nor coach Tom Coughlin has been able to contact
Strahan, although the 35-year-old who holds the NFL single-season
record for sacks (22½) left a message for Coughlin around 11:30
p.m. on Thursday night.
Coughlin did not see the message until Friday morning. He left a
telephone message for Strahan, but it was not immediately returned.
"Obviously I am disappointed that he is not here," said
Coughlin, who said that Strahan left no message other than to call
him. "He is a very important part of our team as we have talked
all along. We are just going to have to wait for more information.
Angone did not immediately return a telephone message left at
his office by The Associated Press.
Strahan, whose 132½ sacks are tops among active players, was not
immediately available for comment.
The Giants placed Strahan on their reserve-did not report to
camp list, Reese said, adding that Agnone did not say why Strahan
was considering retirement.
Neither Coughlin nor Reese would say whether Strahan would be
fined for missing camp until they spoke with him.
Coughlin hoped the incident would not distract the team with its
first practices scheduled for Saturday.
"We've had enough of those," Coughlin said of distractions
which plagued the Giants during an 8-8 campaign in 2006. "At least
we've dealt with it. Put it that way."
There have been recent reports that Strahan, who was scheduled
to make $4 million this season, was going to hold out because he
felt he was being underpaid.
However, many felt that Strahan was looking for more money after
losing a bitter divorce this past summer to his former wife, Jean.
She was awarded $15.3 million along with child support for their
twin daughters at $18,000 a month.
Agnone did not talk about renegotiating Strahan's contract with
Reese, who added that Strahan might be tired after 14 seasons.
"I thought it was a little bit of a late notice but that's the
way the National Football League works some times," Reese said.
"I just told him [Agnone] that if he's ready to retire we wish him
God's speed. Tony said he might wake up in the morning and say 'I
want to play.'"
Strahan, who missed half of last season with a foot injury, took
part in the Giants offseason training program and minicamp.
Despite his second major injury in three years, Strahan believed
then that he was the NFL's best defensive end.
"I can still pop on the film and show you I am still the best
at what I do," Strahan said in June. "I mean that's my opinion."
If Strahan does retire, the Giants may consider moving
second-year pro Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end. He played
well there last year as a rookie but the Giants moved the
first-round draft choice to strongside linebacker in April in an
attempt to get him more playing time.
Reese said the team will have to move on if Strahan walks away.
"I think he is a Hall of Fame football player, so obviously
it's a big void," Reese said. "But we don't know anything yet.
When we talk to him and get more information you'll know."