Jeremy Shockey is now a former Giant. I’m a Giants fan. I like Shockey. I have absolutely no idea how to react to this news.
On the one hand, I am sad to see such a talented player leave. Shockey is a wideout in a tight ends body, with the added fun of a defensive tackle’s strength. You couldn’t help but fall in love with him, when he ran through a tackler in his first ever preseason game ( I think it was the hall of fame game against the Texans.) Plus, he came to play. Once he hit the field, Shockey was all business.
He’s also the firiest player Big Blue has seen since LT. No one can psyche up a crowd or a huddle like number 80. Basically, he’s been a dash of excitement in the otherwise staid and bland history of the New York Football Giants.
But there’s also the negative. Shockey’s a first rate jackass. He’s a prima donna who sees things through the prism of self, as opposed to the prism of team. Every preseason delivered a new round of complaints about contracts or his role in the offense or his place in the team’s hierarchy. He got into a screaming match with GM Jerry Reese a few weeks ago. There’s simply no place for that on this team anymore. As guys like Eli Manning and Antonio Pearce take on the leadership mantle from past stars like Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan, the personality of the team changes, and Shockey no longer fit.
From a football standpoint, I’m not sure. Kevin Boss played well in Shockey’s absence last season, but is he ready to be a full time starter? Chances are, he is not. But there is this to consider. As Eli matures and becomes a more confident quarterback, there isn’t as big a need for a safety net like Shockey, who runs a short route and provides a big target on plays when Manning waits too long to spot his first two options.
As far as the trade, it raises bigger issues for me. I’ve never understood how teams value proven players in relation to future draft picks. Why do former 1st rounders with pro-bowl resumes routinely get traded for collections of low picks? NFL players are apparently like new cars, they lose half of their value the second they drive off the lot. But if the Dolphins got a 2nd rounder and a 6th rounder for Jason Taylor, I guess the Giants did pretty well getting a 2nd rounder and a 5th rounder for Shockey. About one round better if my math is correct.
What it comes down to is this. Shockey is a good player, and a huge personality. I suppose once the latter started outshining the former, it was time for everyone to call it a night.
Plus there was that whole thing with Mark Gastineau’s daughter, and that was just weird.