Unfortunately for Chris Snee, one last go around with the New York Giants will not be in the cards. The veteran offensive guard announced his retirement from the game today, in a statement released by the team, which ends an era for the G-men . Snee played his entire ten-year NFL career with Big Blue, but he spent the last few seasons battling injuries, which began to sap him of the attributes that made him a four-time Pro Bowler.
Recently, Snee's body broke down, as he had torn labrums in both hips surgically repaired, but ultimately it appears that a balky right elbow caused Snee to call it quits. The Boston College product started 141 games for the G-men, since being drafted in 2004. While not being the most fleet afoot, Snee was a powerful blocker, so his elbow issues robbed him of his most important attribute.
In announcing his retirement, Snee said, "Before OTAs started I was confident. I was moving around great and I was strong enough where I felt that I could play and compete. But then once OTAs came around, I had to punch and stop somebody … obviously, we’re not wearing pads. I wasn’t able to do it. Quite frankly, it hurt. But I thought maybe it was my joint getting used to that again. But the more I tried to do it, it became a concern to me that it wasn’t responding the way it should and actually my (elbow) strength had started to go down in the weight room."
He will certainly be remembered as one of the best offensive linemen to play for the Giants, and his retirement will have a multiple effect on his head coach, and father-in-law, Tom Coughlin. “To me, he was the best guard in all of football,” Coughlin said. “No doubt. No matter who you put him against, all of the great defensive tackles in the game, the 350 (pound) guys, the 340 guys, he blocked them. When he first came here, he was so, so committed and so driven to excel at the professional level as he had excelled at the collegiate level (at Boston College).”
In terms of taking his place in the starting lineup, fortunately Big Blue has options in the position. Second round draft pick, Weston Richburg, will be a longshot in the competition, since he played at center in college, but should get some time at right guard. Free agent acquisition John Jerry missed organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp after undergoing knee surgery. At first glance, Jerry will battle Brandon Mosley for the starting role, although Mosley took most of the right guard snap in OTAs.
Snee was an integral part of two Giants' Super Bowl championships and only gave up 40 sacks in his entire career. He becomes the last cog of the offensive line in the Super Bowl XLII team to retire, since David Diehl announced his retirement earlier this year. Other members of the unit were Shaun O'Hara, Kareem McKenzie and Rich Seubert.