Strahan Turns Down Giants, Will Stay Retired

It turns out Super Bowl XLII was Michael Strahan's final game after all.

The recently retired perennial Pro Bowler told exclusively that he has decided to remain retired and has turned down the Giants' offer to lure him back to action.

"This has been one of the toughest nights of my life," Strahan said from Greece. "But after long deliberation and throwing around a million scenarios in my head for the past day, I think it's just best if I stay retired.

"I have gone back and forth on this because as a player you'll always want to play, you'll never lose that urge to be out there. But I could only do this if I could commit 100 percent, physically, mentally, emotionally and I can't do that. I've tried to convince myself and my body to give it one more year, but in the end I just don't think I could turn it on like I need to again."

Strahan and the team held discussions and he says the money was enough to do the deal. But in the end, it became a matter of whether or not he wanted to put his body through the rigors of another NFL season.

"I really love my life now," he said. "It's great having nobody put a finger on me. You really put yourself through an awful lot in this league, more than people realize.

"I've got a great home at FOX now and I think it's where I belong. I wish I could've had different news for Giants fans but I've known for a while I'm done."

Strahan considered coming out of retirement to help the team after fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora sustained a season-ending injury during the Giants' preseason game against the Jets on Saturday night.

"He was very close to returning, but the great part about Michael is that he takes his time to think about things and he is very thorough," Strahan's agent Tony Agnone said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "You can get excited about coming back and running through the tunnel one more time.

"In the end, he felt he could not get back to where he was."

Strahan received a call early Monday from Giants GM Jerry Reese at the urging of co-owner Steven Tisch, who has a close relationship with Strahan.

"We knew it was a long shot, but we owed it to ourselves to exhaust the possibility," Reese told The Associated Press. "We appreciate Michael even considering ending his retirement. He has a new career in front of him and we wish him nothing but the best. As we all said when he announced his retirement, Michael was and is a great Giant."

The Giants had been hoping for a repeat of last season, when Strahan missed all of training camp and preseason while deliberating whether to return for a 15th NFL season, then returned to help lead the Giants to their 3rd Super Bowl.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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