After 10 NFL seasons, former Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee will retire. He spent the entirety of his pro football career as a member of the New York Giants after being selected in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Boston College.
“I know it’s my time,” Snee said in a press release.
Snee was battling to return from a multitude of injuries, the greatest of which was offseason elbow surgery. Unfortunately, the 32-year-old has been unable to overcome the punishment his body has endured over the years.
He appeared in just three games last season. He had missed just one game over the previous eight seasons.
“Before OTAs started I was confident,” Snee said. “I was moving around great and I was strong enough where I felt that I could play and compete. But then once OTAs came around, I had to punch and stop somebody … obviously, we’re not wearing pads. I wasn’t able to do it. Quite frankly, it hurt. But I thought maybe it was my joint getting used to that again. But the more I tried to do it, it became a concern to me that it wasn’t responding the way it should and actually my (elbow) strength had started to go down in the weight room.”
Everything was hurting Snee, from his elbow on down to hips. He continued to work hard in OTAs in hopes of being able to get to a point where he could see the field again. That point never arrived.
Snee was a key member of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII and XLVI winning teams. He played and started 141 games for Big Blue, all of which came at the right guard position. He also started all 11 playoff games he appeared in.
“I’m thankful to the Giants for giving me this opportunity to try to come back, but I also told them, I told Jerry Reese face-to-face, that I would give him an honest evaluation and I’m a man of my word. I would not be able to help the team the way that I expect of myself or the way that they would expect of me.”
Snee married head coach Tom Couglin’s daughter Kate during his rookie season. They have three sons together. To assume he is Coughlin’s favorite player would be fair, though it probably provided its share of family squabbles over the years.
“It’s different,” Coughlin said, “because not only is it a great football player retiring from the game, who has contributed so much to our team and our franchise and has two world championships to show for it, he is a highly-respected and loved member of our family.
“The first time I met him I was with Jacksonville and I went up to Boston College (to scout a running back). Kate (his daughter) was a freshman at BC and I said, ‘Let’s have dinner tonight.’ She said, ‘Dad, can I bring a friend?’ It was Snee. He doesn’t say a word. Not one word that I can remember. You should see him with his kids. He’s unbelievable. He has really blossomed here.”
Snee’s departure leaves a concerning question mark at right guard, as if the team did not already have enough issues along the offensive line. Veteran John Jerry, whom the Giants signed during the offseason from the Dolphins, figures to be the favorite to replace him.