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Time for Strahan to decide

So, Michael Strahan feels "betrayed" by the Giants.

I think Strahan has this backwards. To me, the holdout defensive end is the one betraying his team.

By waiting until the eve of training camp to announce that he is contemplating retirement and then not going to camp it is Strahan who has wronged the Giants, not the other way around.

One of the biggest decisions the Giants made this off-season was to move Mathias Kiwanuka, the heir apparent to Strahan at defensive end, to linebacker. That, most likely, is a decision that never would have been made if the team knew Strahan would not be there.

Then, of course, there is the distraction factor. The last thing beleaguered head coach Tom Coughlin and the Giants needed was another season filled with off the field issues. Strahan has, of course, caused them a huge one right out of the gate.

The same source who told the Daily News that Strahan felt betrayed also said Strahan's decision not to come to camp "is not about money."

Bunk! Of course it's about the money.

Strahan's ex-wife fleeced him for $15 million plus hundreds of thousands more in child support in their very nasty divorce settlement. Strahan's $4 million salary is obviously not going to make up for the money he lost to her, and he has to be looking for a quick way to cash in.

General Manager Jerry Reese and, more importantly, COO John Mara, have said flatly that Strahan will not get another dime. If he plays, it will be under his current contract -- minus whatever he winds up owing the Giants in the fines he is currently accruing.

Good for them. I think they are handling this exactly right. There is no need for them to be held hostage by a 35-year-old defensive end who, while still a good player, has broken down in two of the past three seasons.

Can he still be a dominant player? Maybe, maybe not. The Giants, though, are already paying him plenty.

Perhaps Strahan is intending to play and just looking for a way to keep from having to go through the grind of a full training camp. Maybe he is serious about retiring.

I tend to think that, eventually, Strahan will be on the field. I dount he is going to walk away from $4 million, even if he does think he deserves more.

I agree with Newsday's Bob Glauber, though. It is time for this situation to end. Strahan needs to either officially announce his retirement or get to Albany and get on the field.

Glauber put it this way.

If Strahan is serious about retirement, then he needs to let the team know once and for all that he's done. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. Now. And if this is more about the money - and you'd be a fool not to believe it is - then Strahan should realize that any attempt to squeeze the Giants for a bump in his $4-million salary will not happen. ...

I don't begrudge Strahan the right to ask for more money - even at age 35. He is in the final two years of a contract with a value of $46 million, a deal that was one of the richest in NFL history. Strahan remains one of the top defensive players in the league, but if the Giants aren't willing to increase his salary in a bid to get him to feel better about not retiring, then he has to accept that reality.

So, Michael, what's it going to be? Play or go? It's time to stop trying to hold the Giants hostage and make a decision.