After 15 years on the field, longer than any player in New York Giants history, Michael Strahan is throwing in the towel on his professional football career, and turning his back on his $4 million salary for the 2008 season.
The Super Bowl champion, 36, often speculated that the past year would be his last season. Now Strahan is finalizing his decision before his teammates gather for training camp on June 11. "It was important that my teammates knew which way I was going before they got on the field to start the work to defend our title," Strahan told FOXSports.com, (NWS) which first broke the news. "It's time. I'm done."
A June 10 news conference at Giants Stadium made the announcement official: Strahan will walk away from a $4 million salary for the final year of his contract, and, like former Giant Tiki Barber, may be next land a job in TV.
Strahan has been an outstanding asset to the Giants line up both on the field and in the locker room. The vocal team leader leaves as the team's all-time quarterback sack leader with 141 ½, and the single-season mark of 22 ½ sacks, which he set in 2001. This past season, Strahan started 15 of 16 games, had 46 tackles and nine sacks.
But in the past two years, Strahan met with many high-profile retired players and asked for their advice on retired life, and how they knew they were done. The one consistent theme was this: Once you're done, it's forever. This finality posed the biggest problem for Strahan in making the decision to retire.
Tony Agnone, Strahan's agent, told the Associated Press that the Giants offered Strahan more money to play another season, but it wasn’t the money that mattered. Instead, he feels that their championship win was most important to Strahan. "I really believe that was it," Agnone said.
Of course $4 million is a lot of money, and 36 is a fairly young age at which to stop working, should Strahan have played one more year? We wondered the same thing. For answers, read MainStreet's in-depth take on when fellow gridiron great Brett Favre retired earlier this year. If you are you wondering which year could be your last year of work; MainStreet can help with those calculations, too. And why have just one career when you can have two? Second career starts are now popular with retirees, whether they are young gold medalists, like Keri Strug, or a more seasoned entertainers, like Kathie Lee.
And in the meantime, best of luck in retirement, Michael!