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Ex-Giant Deon Grant opts to retire in Blue

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New York Giants safety Deon Grant looks on during NFL football practice on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants are scheduled to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Bill Kostroun/AP

Deon Grant signs with the NY Giants in 2010 and plays key roll for the team that won Super Bowl XLVI.

Deon Grant was something of a journeyman during his 12 NFL seasons. But he wanted to make sure his journey ended in New York.

Grant, a safety and defensive leader of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI champions, officially announced his retirement on Wednesday, and made sure to do it as a Giant. Grant played for four different teams beginning with the Carolina Panthers who took him in the second round of the 2000 draft. But he said “I want to retire as a Giant because I want to be a Giant for the rest of my life.”

“The Giants are a connection in my heart that I knew that I was supposed to be there,” Grant said in a statement released by the Giants. “The last year that I signed there to go to the Super Bowl I could have signed with a bunch of teams, but I wanted to sign with the Giants. The way that the owners opened the doors and signed me back and the general manager (Jerry Reese) and the coaching staff … we did each other a favor, but it definitely solidified my career for me.”

Grant, now 34 years old, signed with the Giants in 2010 after playing with Carolina, Jacksonville and Seattle, and he almost immediately became a leader of what was then a fairly young secondary. He returned in 2011, resigning after training camp opened, and was a leader on the team throughout their Super Bowl run.

Deon Grant, who wants to be a 'Giant for the rest of my life', celebrates the Super Bowl win with a trip through the 'Canyon of Heroes' on Feb. 7, 2012.

Bryan Pace/Bryan Pace for News

Deon Grant, who wants to be a ‘Giant for the rest of my life’, celebrates the Super Bowl win with a trip through the ‘Canyon of Heroes’ on Feb. 7, 2012.

The Giants did not re-sign him after the Super Bowl and Grant, who then had hopes of continuing his career, underwent surgeries on his shoulder, ankle and hand. He said “a few teams” called him about playing last season, but he ultimately decided he had done enough.

“I always said, once I win a ring, I think I’m going to leave the game,” Grant said. “I feel like it couldn’t get any more perfect than that.”

Grant played 36 regular season games over two seasons with the Giants, starting 20 of them. He said he hasn’t given up football entirely and hopes to someday return as a coach.

“I still study the game a lot,” he said. “I study the game because I think that’s going to be a place where I land on my feet as far as coaching. I do a lot of charity work, I have other businesses running for me, but my main thing right now is getting back into that whole football swing of things.”


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