Giants P Feagles to hold news conference Friday, expected to retire

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The NFL seemingly is going to lose its oldest player to retirement.

The New York Giants announced Wednesday that 44-year-old punter Jeff Feagles is going to hold a news conference on Friday, the first day of a minicamp for rookies and free agents.

The team would not say whether Feagles was going to retire, but coach Tom Coughlin disclosed after the NFL draft Saturday that Feagles was having some physical problems and that he would be surprised if the veteran decided to return for a 23rd season.

The fact that the Giants are holding a press conference also indicates that Feagles is walking away from the game. They would not have one if he simply decided to play.

The Giants drafted East Carolina punter Matt Dodge in the seventh round on Saturday as an insurance policy.

Feagles approached Coughlin before the draft about his physical concerns. The punter had signed a new contract earlier in the month.

Feagles has never missed a game in his career, playing in an NFL-record 352 consecutive games. He holds most of the NFL's significant punting records.

A member of the Giants for the past seven seasons, Feagles also has played for New England, Philadelphia, Arizona and Seattle. He has a 41.6-yard career gross average and a 35.9-yard net average.

Feagles was the NFL's second oldest player this past season, behind New Orleans' kicker John Carney. The now 46-year-old Carney was replaced late in the season by Garrett Hartley and now serves the Saints as a kicking consultant.

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.

Feagles also is the Giants' holder on extra points and field goals.

Recently signed backup quarterback Jim Sorgi has experience holding and Coughlin said that he would get the first shot at taking over those jobs.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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