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Spate Of New York Giants Retirements Part Of NFL Life

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 7, 2021

Every day, people around the globe decide to retire.

But when three people working for the same organization decide to retire over a five-day period days, it’s only natural to wonder what’s going on.

Such was the case with the New York Giants, who saw two recently signed veteran free agents, linebacker Todd Davis and offensive lineman Joe Looney, and offensive lineman Zach Fulton, whom the team signed earlier in the off-season, retire.

The decision made by the three men comes off the heels of a wild second week of training camp spotted with individual penalty laps for mental errors and a rare outburst of anger Tuesday afternoon when the team, donning pads for the first time in months, got into a sideline clearing ruckus

The 39-year-old Judge, upset by his team’s loss of control, immediately kicked the entire team out of practice, but not before sending them on multiple 100-yard sprints with a few rounds of rapid-fire pushups and a whole lot of choice words heavily sprinkled in.

But for those who think that Judge’s no-nonsense way was the straw that broke the camel’s back or that Davis, Looney, and Fulton no longer possess the toughness to gut out the long, hot, and grueling NFL training camp format, think again.

The decisions were said to be the same as every other person who decides to retire: the players realized that their hearts were no longer into pushing through another NFL season to make it worth relocating their respective families to another state.

Judge, who spoke for nearly five minutes on the topic Friday, understands that it’s not easy.

“I’ve offered every one of these players an opportunity to take a couple of days and think about it before making a career-deciding decision,” he said Friday. “A lot of these older vets, they’re at a different point in their life with different things.

“You have to respect when these guys look us in the eye and say, ‘Listen, I really wanted to see if I could push through it, but I don’t think my body’s at that point,’ and you can leave this point in the game with your health.”

While Judge the football coach can’t be happy seeing his roster—particularly the offensive line, which is in a delicate place as it stands—take a hit to its depth, Judge the human, as is usually the case, overruled the football coach.

“In terms of dealing with vets that make decisions like this, the biggest thing is that you have to understand, you’ve got to respect them as a person first,” Judge said.

“As you look at your roster, sometimes you don’t want to see any of those players walk out. When we sit down and have an honest conversation, you don’t really talk much about football. You talk about family. You talk about their experience in the league. You talk about what they want to do long-term in their life. You talk about a lot of different things.”

Judge, who has always been about people first, reiterated the importance of that element being bigger than the game itself.

“You’ve got to take the helmet off sometimes. We come out here and it’s all ball on the field, but what we’re working with people. It’s a people business,” he said. 

“I can’t turn around and ask somebody to give me their all and that we’re always going to have their back and when they make a decision that’s best for them and their family, turn around and think slightly. You’ve got to respect the decision made and respect every day that they came out here and worked for us, so in the end they have to make a decision for a different path in life and that’s it.”

Judge has also acknowledged that the program he’s running is demanding. That’s why he’s a staunch believer in explaining the methods behind his requests rather than simply handing down orders from his corner office on the second floor of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. 

“I know this is a place that will want to work them, but we’re smart about how we work our players and we’re very calculated,” he said. “But at the same time, we have to push our players and train them that when they go on the field, number one, they’re safe and, number two, they play effectively. It’s our job to help these players produce on the field and put them in position.”

And for those who don’t feel they have it in themselves to respond in a way they consider acceptable, it’s certainly within their right to walk away while they still have their health.


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