I haven't wanted to write this, though when I started my 'Spotlight' series on New York Giants' players I knew I would have to. I just don't see any way possible that Super Bowl 42 hero David Tyree can be a member of the 2009 team.
We know Tyree's story. Great special teams player early in his career, generally only playing as a wide receiver in emergencies when injuries left no one else available. He has just 54 pass receptions in a five-year career, including just four before making the two catches in Super Bowl 42 (a touchdown reception and the Harrison catch) that will forever cement him as a hero in Giants' lore.
We all also know that we have not seen Tyree since that glorious day when the Giants defeated the Patriots to win Super Bowl 42. He missed all of last season with knee and hamstring ailments.
His misfortunes have continued so far in 2009. Even without Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, the numbers are against Tyree. Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Sinorice Moss probably all get roster spots if everyone is healthy. Draft picks Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden will also get spots.
That makes six receivers, and it is highly unlikely the Giants keep more than that. Even if one of those guys goes down, or Moss gets traded, Tyree would have to fight Derek Hagan, Micah Rucker and Taye Biddle for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Sadly, Tyree is not even giving himself a chance to be part of the competition. He suffered a groin strain earlier this spring and hardly got on the field for OTAs or mini-camp.
Obviously, if he can't get on the field the Giants can't give him a roster spot out of sentimentality, then hope he can get healthy enough -- and stay healthy enough -- to prove he still has the athleticism to help this team.
I'm afraid Tyree is going to down without a fight, and while the future is more important than the past, that saddens me a little bit.
If Tyree wants to try and hook on with another team once the Giants -- inevitably -- cut him loose this summer, more power to him. I wish him well.
When former standout running back Charles Way had his career short-circuited by a knee injury, the Giants took him in and he is now the team's Director of Player Development.
If Tyree chooses to hang up his spikes, or finds no other takers, I hope the Giants will similarly do right by him. He deserves that much.