David Tyree: From Super Bowl Hero to Potential Free Agent?

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David Tyree: From Super Bowl Hero to Potential Free Agent?
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

On February 3, 2008, Eli Manning hooked up with David Tyree for what is now one of the most famous plays in NFL history.

It was this 32-yard pass that thrust the New York Giants to victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Just four plays later, Plaxico Burress caught the game winning touchdown to put the G-men up 17-14.

Many forget that Tyree scored the Giants' only other touchdown of the game. It is safe to conclude that Big Blue would never have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy without him.

Now, as we approach the start of the 2009 NFL season, Tyree's standing with the team is in jeopardy. Following the preseason finale against the Pats, New York and the 32 other NFL teams will trim their roster from 75 to 53 players.

In the Giants' case, they will actually keep a 54th man, being that Michael Boley will be suspended for the season opener and one extra guy will be kept around until he returns.

It's unknown whether Tyree will be among the 54 to make the team or the 21 to be cut. It's been speculated that he might not be playing in the Meadowlands during the upcoming season.

One reason is that Tyree has not been in uniform since that memorable night in Arizona. This is because he was plagued by injuries last year, and spent the entirety of 2008 on injured reserve.

He has been bothered by an ongoing hamstring injury. He has felt the effects on this throughout training camp. This has caused him to sit out frequently. Even when he is on the field, he has played with a great deal of inconsistency.

Another reason is that Tyree has never really been the most productive receiver. Since he was drafted out of Syracuse in 2003, he has only caught 54 passes, going for 650 yards and four scores on a 12.0 yards per catch average.

Still, he has found a way to stay on the roster for all these years by contributing on special teams. In 2005, Tyree made the Pro-Bowl as a special teamer. This makes David a tough guy to let go of.

And it's not like Tyree's 2005 performance was a fluke. In addition to being an outstanding college receiver, he was also a dominant force on special teams. In his career as an Orange Man, Tyree recorded a staggering six blocked punts.

With the regular season right around the corner, Tyree will have to make a firm impression on his coaching staff if he wants to stay a member of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

Against the Pats, Tyree had what will more than likely be the shining moment of his career. Now, however, he is at a crossroads.

Tyree might never play another game for the Giants again. But that's how it is in the NFL: 75 guys vying for 53 spots.

All I have to say is, come Sunday, September 13, I hope to see David Tyree wearing his blue and white No. 85 jersey when the New York Giants take on the Washington Redskins.

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