New York Giants on the Ropes with Michael Strahan

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IMay 13, 2008

Last year, the New York Football Giants conquered all odds and proved that they were able to take on adversity and use it to win a Super Bowl.

Michael Strahan has been the face of this franchise since he was drafted out of Texas Southern University in 1993.  That year was Lawrence Taylor's final season getting after the quarterback and getting the rest of his defense to "go out there and playing like a pack of wolves."

Taylor essentially passed the torch down to Michael Strahan. Since then, Strahan has withstood coaching turmoil from Dan Reeves to Jim Fassel to Tom Coughlin. 

He has also withstood many different starting quarterbacks, from Dave Brown to Danny Kanell, Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Kurt Warner, and Eli Manning.  

Coming into the 2007 season, Strahan's teammate for all but 1993 and 1994, Tiki Barber, had decided to call it a career.  While I never questioned this decision because Tiki was everything to this offense and he wanted to walk away as opposed to limp away, Strahan decided to come back.

He has helped tutor Osi Umeryoira and Justin Tuck as they developed from draft picks into key members on the best defensive line in football.

Strahan is the face of this franchise. 

Usually, I would not advocate giving him treatment above the team, but let's be honest, he deserves it.  He is the single-season sack leader as well as the team's career leader in sacks. 

Since their NFL inception, the Giants have been about tough, hard-nosed defense.  He is the defensive captain on this team.  Strahan should not be pressured into making a decision.

Tom Coughlin's old school training camp at State University of New York at Albany is rough and is known to be amongst the toughest in the NFL.  They often practice in the middle of the day, which is no longer a common practice.  Strahan should be able to relax on the beach in California and then come back after camp concludes. 

Strahan is still in as good of shape as any other Defensive Lineman in the NFL.  Osi Umeyoira has been known to push Strahan to get lighter and quicker while still maintaining strength.  

As far as his contract goes, he should be able to basically name his price.  He was productive last year, producing nine sacks for the regular season. 

On the biggest stage of sports he sacked Tom Brady twice and helped the GMEN knock Brady down 26 out of the 47 times he dropped back to pass. 

If other veterans such as Justin Smith, who only had two sacks last season, can get a long-term deal, Strahan should still be able to get a short-term, yet lucrative deal.  

Michael is a class act and the leader of the champion Giants.  They should take care of him and set the precedent of using corporate loyalty, which has been something that has been almost cut out in the NFL. 

An example of this was with Jerry Rice having to leave the 49ers and Tim Brown having to leave the Raiders earlier this decade.  Hopefully, the Giants will do what is right and treat Strahan like he should be treated.