New York Giants  

 

Giants contact Strahan to gauge interest, move Kiwanuka to DE

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are interested in luring Michael Strahan out of retirement after losing Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending knee injury Saturday night.

Michael Strahan, DE

Career Stats
Games: 216
Tackles: 429
Sacks: 141.5

The Giants have contacted seven-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan to gauge his interest in a possible return, reports NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

"They want to see if there is any interest there," agent Tony Agnone told The Associated Press. "I have to talk to Michael."

Strahan is on vacation in Greece. Agnone described the Giants' call as a courtesy -- for now -- and noted the two sides did no negotiating.

"Part of the talk was about Osi," said Agnone, who also represents Umenyiora.

Strahan turned down a $6 million contract offer in the offseason. He then signed with Fox Sports to work on its NFL pregame show.

With Strahan's status uncertain, the Giants shuffled their defense Monday and moved Mathias Kiwanuka back to end from his strongside linebacker spot.

"I was told all along that if something were to happen that this is a position I could find myself in," Kiwanuka said. "I am ready to step in there and hopefully there won't be a letdown at all."

The Giants' first-round draft pick in 2006, Kiwanuka was moved from defensive end to strongside linebacker last season so the team could get its best 11 defenders on the field.

However, he has played almost his whole career as a lineman, including his first season with the Giants and last season on third-down situations before breaking a leg against Detroit in November.

Coach Tom Coughlin refused to speculate on whether the Giants were still interested in Strahan, the 36-year-old who retired in June after a 15-year career that was capped by the Giants' stunning win over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. He said he has not been involved in discussions on the topic and he has not talked to Strahan since Umenyiora suffered a season-ending torn meniscus in his left knee on Saturday night against the Jets.

"I'm more concerned with the team that we have right here in our locker room and that this team mentally prepares itself as best we can," Coughlin said when pressed.

Domenic Centofanti / Getty Images
Mathias Kiwanuka returns full-time to the position he played in college and in his first year with the Giants.

General manager Jerry Reese said that injuries are a part of the game and that the team was fortunate to have players capable of picking up the slack.

"As always, we'll continue to research all of our options," Reese said.

Jets quarterback Brett Favre said the Giants should do whatever possible to get Strahan back.

"The guy still looks great, hell of a player," Favre said at the Jets' facility in Hempstead, N.Y. "I would have done whatever to try to get him back initially, but now, how could you not want him back?

"Wouldn't that be something, he comes back and we start a trend?"

Teammates tended to doubt that Strahan would return.

"As I know it, he is probably on a beach somewhere sipping on some pina coladas, so I doubt football is the first thing on his mind today," said defensive end Justin Tuck, who replaced Strahan at left end.

Defensive tackle Barry Cofield said Strahan gave no indication that he wanted to play again when he visited the Giants at training camp in Albany, N.Y., less than two weeks ago.

"He has not been bouncing back and forth like (Brett) Favre," Cofield said. "He has been pretty happy. We saw him up here and he said he missed it but he was content. He has decided to go on to the next phase of his life so I don't look too strongly into that (him playing again.)"

Danny Clark, a nine-year veteran who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, will move from weakside linebacker to the strong side to replace Kiwanuka. Gerris Wilkinson will start at weakside linebacker.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report

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