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Giants draft punter after Feagles says he's considering retirement

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The oldest punter in the NFL is seriously considering retirement.

The New York Giants disclosed Saturday that 44-year-old Jeff Feagles has told coach Tom Coughlin he's having second thoughts about returning for a 23rd NFL season.

Coughlin said he expects Feagles to decide his future next week and would be surprised if the punter decides to play.

Feagles wasn't immediately available for comment.

The Giants selected East Carolina punter Matt Dodge in the seventh round of the NFL draft on Saturday as an insurance policy.

Feagles approached Coughlin last week about some physical problems, and the two have spoken twice about the issue.

"Jeff was trying to do the right thing, by letting us know with the draft in front of us rather than behind us," Coughlin said. "He did the right thing, as he always would do, having the best interests of our team at heart."

When asked if Feagles had a specific injury, Coughlin simply said the punter is 44.

"He worked very hard for approximately a month right after the season just to try to tell himself that he could do it again and wanted to do it," Coughlin said.


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Coughlin said Feagles, who signed a new contract at the start of the month, had some concerns when he started testing during the team's offseason training program.

Feagles also is the Giants' holder on extra-point and field-goal attempts. Quarterback Jim Sorgi has experience holding, and Coughlin said the recently signed backup would be the one to replace Feagles if he retires.

Feagles has never missed a game in his 22-year career and holds most of the NFL's significant punting records. He has spent the past seven seasons with the Giants and also played for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. He has a 41.6-yard career gross average and a 35.9-yard net average.

Feagles has played in an NFL-record 352 consecutive games. Only kickers Gary Anderson and Morten Andersen have played in more games in their careers.

Dodge averaged 45.8 yards this past season. He was the first punter drafted by the Giants since 1997, when they took Brad Maynard in the third round.

The Giants also have former Australian Rules Football player Jy Bond under contract.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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