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Garafolo comes to Shockey's defense

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I have been a little hesitant to go down the Jeremy Shockey road here throughout the playoffs. I suspect we will spend plenty of time this off-season discussing the future of the Giants' injured tight end.

This morning, though, the Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo has gone down that road -- challenging those who think Shockey's absence helps the Giants and that he should be traded.

Here's a little bit of Garafolo.

I'm not buying it. And if I'm the Giants, I'm not taking the suggestions of the folks who are ready to move on and trade him. ... Look, I'm not saying Shockey is the perfect teammate. For all I know, he could have been yapping behind the scenes about his new role in this offense while keeping a straight face in public. And maybe Eli Manning is a little relieved Shockey's not out there so he doesn't feel the pressure of having to get him the ball. Fact is, I don't know. And neither do most people. But to say this team is better off without a tremendous blocker, a more-than-capable receiver and a guy whose toughness and limitless energy inspire this team doesn't make sense to me.

I have to agree with Garafolo. Shockey often frustrates me, and I've wondered about his effect on Eli, but he is still a tremendous player to have on your team. As much as I love the potential of Kevin Boss, Shockey is a guy nearly every team in the league would love to have.

So, what do you guys think? Has his absence helped Eli? Hurt Eli? Made no difference?

We probably won't be able to, but let's try to keep the question of his long-term future for another day.