ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York Giants are not going to
renegotiate Michael Strahan's $4 million contract to persuade the
seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end to stop mulling retirement and
play this season.
"I don't want to get into negotiating in the media," co-owner
John Mara said Wednesday as Strahan's holdout entered its sixth
day. "He is under contract and I think you all know what our
position is on that. I don't want to make any statements on that."
In his gut, Mara said he feels the 35-year-old Strahan would
eventually decide to play, but he said the team was prepared to
move on without him.
According to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, free agent defensive end Simeon Rice underwent a physical conducted by Giants physicians at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York on Wednesday, then met with Giants general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin at the Giants training facility in Albany.
The Giants are now considering signing Rice to a contract.
Mara also downplayed a report that Strahan felt betrayed because
the Giants were fining him $14,288 for each day of his holdout.
"He hasn't expressed that to us," said Mara, who said the team
had no choice but to dock Strahan. "I'm not sure I believe that."
Strahan's surprising absence has dominated the training camp at
the University at Albany since players reported on Friday.
The team knew the recently divorced veteran was looking for more
money, but was stunned when his agent said he was mulling
Had the Giants known that the NFL single-season sack record
holder was considering retirement, they might have made moves in
the free-agent market or drafted differently in April.
"We would have liked to have gotten a little more notice,"
Mara said. "I understand the fact that he is just undecided about
what he wants to do. Sometimes these things happen."
Mara insisted that the holdout has not been a distraction for a
team trying to rebound from an 8-8 season that was good enough to
get a playoff berth.
"I don't think any of us are that troubled by it," Mara said.
"We'd like to have him come in. If he decided to come in, that's
great. We will be a better team with him in here. If he doesn't,
we'll move on."
Mara, who has known Strahan longer than coach Tom Coughlin and Reese, has not spoken with him in recent
weeks. He said he might reach out and make a telephone call if the
holdout continues, but noted that nothing he says will probably
influence Strahan's decision. He said No. 92 has to make up his own
Mara's biggest concern would be if Strahan missed a lot of
"That is something we are concerned about because I have
noticed that players who come in late do run a higher risk of being
injured," he said. "But he's a veteran. He has been around a long
time and always has been in excellent condition. You would like to
think that would not be the case with him."
Strahan missed half of last season with a foot injury.
Mara called Strahan one of the greatest players in Giants
history and a surefire Hall of Famer. He added retiring now would
not be the way to end his career, but he was prepared to accept it
if Strahan left football after 14 seasons and 132½ career sacks.
"He has done too much for the franchise for me to be bitter
about it," Mara said. "He has been a great player for a long
time. These things happen."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.