"I feel like they should let me go if they're not going to play me," Dayne said in an exclusive interview with TGI. "I'm not going to get a shot here, so just let me go. Let me go somewhere where I can play. I love to play football and it's not happening here.
"It would definitely be better for me if they let me go somewhere I can play. Just trade me and get something for me that they'll want and use. That way I'll be happy and they'll be happy." Giants GM Ernie Accorsi had said repeatedly that the club has no intentions of trading its former first-round draft choice (2000), who has two years remaining on his contract. Dayne is certainly a bargain by NFL standards – even for a backup. He's scheduled to make $616,000 next season.
Dayne felt the need to clear the air after TGI's original report following the season that his representatives planned to contact Accorsi seeking a trade for their client.
Dayne subsequently told several members of the New York media that he was happy in New York. Dayne said he was caught off-guard and shouldn't have said what he did.
"Those statements were made out of shock and fear," Dayne's agent Terry Lavenstein said. "I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings or give anyone a chance to target me," Dayne said. "If I fumbled or something, everyone would jump on me and say it's because I don't want to be here." But it's obvious that he doesn't.
Following the media storm that unfolded on Jan. 15, Dayne said that Accorsi phoned and told him that, " ‘I wasn't going anywhere and that he wanted me there,' " Dayne said. "It's probably just because I'm cheap and a good backup." Stuck behind a Pro Bowl caliber back in Tiki Barber, Dayne has seen his carries drop in each of his three NFL seasons – from 228 in 2000, to 180 in 2001 and only 125 last season. The final indignity for Dayne came when he received only three carries (for four yards) in New York's playoff loss to San Francisco.
"I'm kind of used to that," he said. "I've been dealing with this for three years now. I know Tiki's a great back and with him here it's going to be hard for me."
Through three seasons in New York, Dayne has 1,888 rushing yards. In his senior season at Wisconsin alone, the Heisman Trophy winner topped 2,000.
"I hate sitting around watching," Dayne said. "I came out of college the best player ever, so obviously I can run."
Dayne's diminished workload has certainly had an adverse affect on him.
"I'm not going to lie to you, I'm really starting to lose my love for the game," he said. "If I can't play, I don't want to be here." "They're breaking his spirit; you can see it in his eyes on and off the field," Lavenstein said. "It just might be time to move on. If leaving New York is what it takes for him to play, that may be what has to happen for him and his family. People forget what type of runner and how good a runner Ron can be." At this point in time, Dayne said he has no plans to hold out if his ‘play me or trade me' request is not met, but wouldn't rule out that option in the future.
"That's something that me and my agent would consider down the road," he said. "But right now we have no intentions of doing that."