A Sad Parting

The offensive lineman Jerry Reese once called "the MVP" of the squad will not be a Giant past Thursday, the first day teams may cut players. Rich Seubert, after a storied and improbable career, is expected to be cut to save approximately $1.85 million on their $6 million cap overage. C Shaun O'Hara is reportedly going, too.

Well, you didn't think the opening of Giants camp would come without a little pain, especially after the sturm und drang of this offseason. Did you?

But it's a good bet that few figured the pain would be inflicted on Rich Seubert, the gutsy, roly-poly, chop-busting offensive lineman who became as much beloved as revered through his fight with various injuries that would have derailed lesser careers.

Seubert has been told the Giants plan to cut him Thursday, the first day rosters may be trimmed, to clear nearly $2.25 million from their $120.3 million salary cap.

In an additional move, starting C Shaun O'Hara will also be cut after a season plagued by injury and offseason surgery.

The Giants stand about $6 million over right now, and that's without having signed their draft picks or any of their 15 unrestricted free agents. The two cuts should shave nearly $4 million off that figure.

With youngsters like Adam Koets and Mitch Petrus coming up behind him, the Giants have an opportunity to get younger at guard.

So the 32-year-old Seubert will go. And that's a shame because he is one player who truly gave his all to the team.

This is the guy who nearly had his career ended with a catastrophic broken leg against the Eagles in 2003 when N.D. Kalu stepped on the back of his leg. He lost an entire season and gained a grosss-looking scar as doctors filled the break with screws and plates, and then skin-grafted over it.

But he came back to become the line's steadiest player, and most versatile. Last season, he moved between guard and center at a moment's notice as both O'Hara and Koets had their seasons shortened by injury.

Guts doesn't begin to describe Seubert. But guts doesn't get contracts these days. Youth and health do, and the fact that Seubert dislocated his kneecap and stretched ligaments in the season finale against Washington, necessitating surgery that would not have him ready for camp, made him expendable.

And so he goes.

Whether he'll pick up with another team is anybody's guess. What we do know is that, for an undrafted free agent out of Western Illinois, Seubert had a first-round career.

NOTES: The news wasn't all sad, and some of it was even uplifting. The Giants signed Boston College's Mark Herzlich, an undrafted linebacker and cancer survivor long-rumored to be in the Giants plans. Tom Coughlin, of course, has a soft spot for players from the school he once coached. But this signing came at the behest of President and CEO John Mara, who "suggested" to Reese that he take a chance on Herzlich...Giants practices, all from 6-8 p.m., will be open to the public for free. Bleachers that will seat about 2,000 have been set up at the Timex Performance Center, with first practice scheduled for Saturday, 6:15 p.m.

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