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The path that safety Deon Grant (2010-2011) took to get to the Giants is an interesting one.
As an unrestricted free agent after the 2006, Grant, then with the Jacksonville Jaguars, found himself being courted by several teams.
After committing to sign with Seattle, the one team he hoped would come calling, came around when it was too late.
That team was the Giants, of which Grant told Inside Football, “I really wanted to come (to the Giants). “Had it been a situation where I hadn’t gone to Seattle and New York would have called me before, hands down I would have been here.”
It took a few years, but ultimately, Grant got his wish to become a Giant when he signed a one-year contract worth up to $4 million in 2010.
Despite the fact that he wasn’t assured of a starting job after signing his first contract with the Giants, which placed his streak of 144 consecutive games in jeopardy, Grant came to New York with an open mind.
His faith was rewarded. He re-signed with the Giants in 2011 to continue his role in defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s three-safety package, a key staple in the team’s 2011 Super Bowl-winning defense.
The impact Grant made in the Giants locker room was even greater. A well-respected leader, Grant was a student of the game whose work ethic and study rubbed off on younger safeties such as Kenny Philips and Antrel Rolle.
Grant, nicknamed the ”The Godfather” according to the Bergen Record, also became the defense’s unofficial spokesman.
While he was never elected a co-captain of the unit, it was clear to anyone who witnessed the interactions in the locker room and on the field that his was among the most respected voices.
On the field, Grant might not have had the foot speed that he had when he was younger, but he more than made up for it with his football IQ.
He logged 136 tackles in 32 regular-season games for the Giants, also posting two sacks, 16 passes defensed and four interceptions.
In the postgame Super Bowl locker room, I managed to speak with Grant about his plans for the future. He told me that he thought he had a “lot of football left,” even though he had finally won himself a championship ring.
Once things settled down, he decided to retire after 12 NFL seasons, his career ending with the team he had always wanted to be a part of.
"I want to retire as a Giant because I want to be a Giant for the rest of my life," he said in a team press release announcing his retirement.
He got his wish and rewarded the Giants for the investment they made in him.
Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.