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Former Giant Kenny Phillips retires from the NFL

Former Giants' safety Kenny Phillips has retired from the NFL

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It's always at least a little bit sad when a player's career doesn't end on his own terms. For former New York Giants' safety Kenny Phillips, that happened Wednesday.

"It was a blessing. It was a blessing to be drafted in the first round. It was a blessing to win a Super Bowl and end up in New York. The fan base up there is crazy. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every season of it. Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game. It took a toll. I'd love to still be playing right now, but physically I can't so I just keep my mind off of it and do the next best thing, which is be around it as much as I can. Not even coaching, I just enjoy being around it."

Phillips told InsidetheU that injuries had caught up to him and he simply couldn't play the game any more.

It wasn't all that long ago, though it seems like ages now, that Phillips was one of the brightest spots on a dominant New York Giants defense. The Giants drafted Phillips in the first round of the 2008 draft to secure the back end of Steve Spagnuolo's ferocious defense, and he quickly looked like one of the rising stars among the NFL's secondaries. But then early in 2009 he was diagnosed with a degenerative knee condition that quickly cost him that season.

He returned for the 2010 season and played with fellow Hurricane Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant. He stayed healthy through the Giants' 2011 Superbowl season and had a career year, with 82 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and four interceptions.

Phillips and the Giants parted ways after the 2012 season and he was briefly a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and the New Orleans Saints in 2014 and 2015.