Antonio Pierce's Cut Forces Giants To Find a New Voice

Chris BurnhamContributor IFebruary 11, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25:  Antonio Pierce #58 of the New York Giants gets the crowd going against the Arizona Cardinals on October 25, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Since coming to the Giants as a free agent from the Washington Redskins, Antonio Pierce became the poster-player for team leadership.

He learned to be a leader from a team that was headed by two stately voices in Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber. He learned to be a leader by embracing the linebacking history of the New York Football Giants. He endeared himself to the fanbase, not necessarily because of his ability, but rather his hustle, and willingness to do whatever he could to make a play.

While the spirit is always willing in the case of one called AP, the flesh, unfortunately, has become weak.

Maybe it was by some cruel twist in fate that his time with the Giants became a speeding train run amok following the events of Plaxico Burress' infamous nightclub incident, but any Giants fan will tell you, he was never the same player after that.

(Pierce is sill trying to catch Brian Westbrook at the time of this posting.)

After a hot start to 2009, things are looking good. Deceivingly good, thanks to a marshmallow of an early schedule, but good nevertheless. Pierce thinks he'll be okay with what he thought was a burner, only to find out that this neck problem was far worse than initially thought.

Pierce lands on IR. The train gains speed. Only by this this time, the whole team had bought a ticket.

Pierce was succinct to his Twitter followers about the whole situation. His quote:

"Thanks for your support. Sorry to let ya down."

He understood his place on this team. He knew what to say to this team, and above all he knew what it meant to wear the "NY" on the helmet.

It'll be a sad day when we'll see him on the sideline for another franchise as an opponent. Whatever team that ends up being will have themselves a true leader in ever sense.

And the Giants can only hope that they can find that player again.