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7-time Pro DE Michael Strahan fails to report to camp, mulls retirement

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan failed to report to the New York Giants training camp on Friday, and he is mulling retirement, his agent told the team.

"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 (22 1/2) 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 132 1/2 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."

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