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Quiet Toomer hopes to catch new Giants' contract

 

BY TOM ROCK January 1, 2009

 

Amani Toomer has been playing the game for a long time, and he wants to continue

playing it. This is his first time playing the game, though. The

negotiating game. The dance where he tries to get what he wants. And

the end zone of this route is a new contract, not a touchdown.

 

 

Maybe that's why Toomer halfheartedly doubted his strategy yesterday.

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe I should have held out in minicamp."

 

That would have been very un-Toomer-like. For the past 13 seasons, he's earned a citizenship badge as one of the Giants'

quiet, focused leaders. This season he was named a team captain. He's

the only player on the team who was around the last time the Giants had

the top seed in the playoffs, the same year they went to Super Bowl XXXV and lost to the Ravens. He's also the most productive receiver in the team's history. So making a scene is not something Toomer is about to do.

 

 

But as the calendar resets itself today, Toomer doesn't know if he'll

be back with the Giants after this latest postseason run is finished.

Toomer is an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season,

and although he has said he would like to finish his career with the

Giants, he also understands that there's a chance it won't happen.

 

"This is the business part of it," Toomer said. "I've never been a free

agent, so it's going to be exciting. I'm going to look at it as

exciting. It will be a different experience for me. That's all I can

really say."

 

 

 

 

There was a lot of shrugging, awkward smiling and

searching for just the right words as Toomer spoke yesterday. Talking

about his future clearly made Toomer uncomfortable. After 13 seasons

with the same franchise, staring out at open waters can have that

effect.

 

 

 

Or perhaps Toomer was trying to stifle frustrations

over how he's been used. He's caught 48 passes for 580 yards this year,

his lowest numbers after a full season in his career. Second-year

receiver Steve Smith led the team in receptions and third-year player Domenik Hixon led the team in receiving yardage. Even after Plaxico Burress was suspended, Toomer did not become a go-to guy. He's caught seven passes for 75 yards in the last three games.

 

 

 

 

"It ended up the way it did and I can't say I'm satisfied," he said of

his numbers. "The only thing I control are my percentages [of catches],

and I felt I was pretty good at that. It's a touchy topic. I don't feel

that comfortable talking about it."

 

Sometimes, though, that's part of the game.

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Old man Tooms has plenty left to offer this team. While not a #1 receiver, he can still be a valuable, productive cog in the offense. He'd be a great 3rd receiver, for instance.

 

But we all understand this is a business. I hope he and the Giants can agree on a one year deal, with incentives. The last thing I want to see is Tooms in another uniform. He is and always will be a Giant, a great Giant.

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Old man Tooms has plenty left to offer this team. While not a #1 receiver, he can still be a valuable, productive cog in the offense. He'd be a great 3rd receiver, for instance.

 

But we all understand this is a business. I hope he and the Giants can agree on a one year deal, with incentives. The last thing I want to see is Tooms in another uniform. He is and always will be a Giant, a great Giant.

 

 

Thats right. And Toomer was #1 receiver material his whole career. He was just better at the role he eventually filled, and for that, I am forever grateful to Amani the King. :worshippy:

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I'll wait and see who else we get. If we get TJ or equivalent, Toomer would be an ample #3. If we go with a rookie as a # 1, we need a #2 who can stretch the field and shed corners at the line. Toomer has always prospered when there was someone else taking attention away. (Plax or Shockey)

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Am I the only one who see's its time for this man to hang it up? I got nothing but love for Toomer, he is trully the g.o.a.t, but we need a explosive second, who can get yards after the catch. Nor should we removing Smith, to let Toomer be 3rd.

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Am I the only one who see's its time for this man to hang it up? I got nothing but love for Toomer, he is trully the g.o.a.t, but we need a explosive second, who can get yards after the catch. Nor should we removing Smith, to let Toomer be 3rd.

 

it says a lot to the dog that after burress went out, toomer's production did not increase. he was an excellent receiver for a number of years, but age catches up with everyone. a team that has two solid receivers could sign him as a third option for depth and leadership, but not for much else.

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Am I the only one who see's its time for this man to hang it up? I got nothing but love for Toomer, he is trully the g.o.a.t, but we need a explosive second, who can get yards after the catch. Nor should we removing Smith, to let Toomer be 3rd.

 

I disagree with you JayD. Toomer catches passes thrown at him. He's not looked at as much as Hixon or Burress.. or even Smith. Yes the man is much older now but he has sure hands. He has EARNED the respect he's getting.. and part of that respect is letting him decide when he should hang them up.

 

I won't forget that the guy spent 15 minutes of his time after practice encouraging me to try out (kicker).. while everyone else were running to the locker room. He's a class act and a dependable player.

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Am I the only one who see's its time for this man to hang it up? I got nothing but love for Toomer, he is trully the g.o.a.t, but we need a explosive second, who can get yards after the catch. Nor should we removing Smith, to let Toomer be 3rd.

 

 

I know you can't be bothered to read other's posts before you make you're 'i'm the only one conviction'

 

I'll wait and see who else we get. If we get TJ or equivalent, Toomer would be an ample #3. If we go with a rookie as a # 1, we need a #2 who can stretch the field and shed corners at the line. Toomer has always prospered when there was someone else taking attention away. (Plax or Shockey)

 

 

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I disagree with you JayD. Toomer catches passes thrown at him. He's not looked at as much as Hixon or Burress.. or even Smith. Yes the man is much older now but he has sure hands. He has EARNED the respect he's getting.. and part of that respect is letting him decide when he should hang them up.

 

I won't forget that the guy spent 15 minutes of his time after practice encouraging me to try out (kicker).. while everyone else were running to the locker room. He's a class act and a dependable player.

 

true, but this is a business first. you can't pay a player and take a roster spot if it means being less productive in that position. not that the dog believes that toomer doesn't have value still, but it has to be in the right role for the right team, which could still be the giants, but may not be. can't keep a player simply out of respect...

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Bill Walsh stayed on top by releasing players before they began their downward slide: Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, all finished their careers elsewhere and even had a productive year or 2 where they went. And they still love Walsh.

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true, but this is a business first. you can't pay a player and take a roster spot if it means being less productive in that position. not that the dog believes that toomer doesn't have value still, but it has to be in the right role for the right team, which could still be the giants, but may not be. can't keep a player simply out of respect...

 

I agree fully. And I think Toomer knows his own value too. He's attitude has been superb throughout.

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Bill Walsh stayed on top by releasing players before they began their downward slide: Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, all finished their careers elsewhere and even had a productive year or 2 where they went. And they still love Walsh.

 

 

Yeah its how you release them....that is why the whole destroy the last one or two years of Simms career to pave the way for Dave Brown. Now if they had told Simms going into the new year that we are going in another direction and that we don't want the proven hero sitting on the bench as that would handicap the new kids career....that is one thing. But you have George Young calling in Reeves to be the ultimate Bad Guy/Bad Cop to tell Simms that his Giants career is over. I mean as much as I felt sorry for Phil in that situation I can only imagine how Reeves felt then and every time Brownie chucked up a dead duck and then blamed his receivers for running the wrong route. LOL!!! I gotta do a Google on that guy....where the hell is Brownie or Hand Job (AKA Handley).

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Yeah its how you release them....that is why the whole destroy the last one or two years of Simms career to pave the way for Dave Brown. Now if they had told Simms going into the new year that we are going in another direction and that we don't want the proven hero sitting on the bench as that would handicap the new kids career....that is one thing. But you have George Young calling in Reeves to be the ultimate Bad Guy/Bad Cop to tell Simms that his Giants career is over. I mean as much as I felt sorry for Phil in that situation I can only imagine how Reeves felt then and every time Brownie chucked up a dead duck and then blamed his receivers for running the wrong route. LOL!!! I gotta do a Google on that guy....where the hell is Brownie or Hand Job (AKA Handley).

Simms had no takers... He had something brewing with Bellicheck in Cleveland as I recall but it didn't pan out.

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Buddy Ryan and the PhillGirls had a lot of interest.

i don't remember that- i remember belli doing anything he could to be rid of kosar. that and signing andre rison led to his leaving cleveland before the team did. that was pre-genius.

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i don't remember that- i remember belli doing anything he could to be rid of kosar. that and signing andre rison led to his leaving cleveland before the team did. that was pre-genius.

 

 

Yeah Buddy was more interested in picking Simms brain and was playing coy about whether Simms would actually be the starter, compete for a starting job; or be relegated to the bench as insurance. This only made Simms angrier and it was at this point that he realized that his career was more or less over. This whole Eagles Gambit went on for a day or two.

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First off, I love Amani. No matter when he leaves our franchise, he will be remembered forever as one of the Giant greats.

 

Now there's the question of his numbers being down. Some people think that it's because Eli just isn't looking his way as much. I tend to think that is true... because he is not open as much. Amani's explosiveness is just not what it used to be, and he is clearly on the decline. Steve Smith is a problem for Amani, because he is such a similar receiver. Clearly, Steve Smith should be elevated to the #2. Smith is Amani 6 or 7 years ago. Smith fills the role of sure-handed possession receiver to a tee. He is young and is part of the future of this organization. But this team has no real #1, and that needs to be addressed in the off-season. Which leads me to my next point...

 

This team, to maintain itself among the NFL elite, needs to have an elite receiver. Some free agents are TJ Houshmanzadeh or Antonio Bryant, who resurrected his career in Tampa and had an amazing season. Another is Anquan Boldin. Personally, I really like Houshmanzadeh and would love him to don Giants colors. The Giants should not look to the draft to fill this hole, as draft picks at WR can be a crap shoot, and rookie receivers usually take time to develop. This team is built to win now... it cannot wait for a #1 to develop while serving in that role. We need to fill that #1 in free agency.

 

Assuming the Giants do get another receiver (or the Plaxico situation works out for next year, which is not likely), and Smith is elevated to #2, which really should happen, then you have other guys to think of as well like Hixon and Manningham. I want to say Hixon is not signed for next year... but wouldn't it make more sense to have a more explosive receiver in the slot like Hixon, who has experience now and has served as our #1 this year admirably? Or Manningham, who is still relatively untested but when he has had opportunities, just moves and looks like a great NFL receiver? I think it's especially important to have another guy in the slot that can stretch the field when your #2 (Smith) is pretty much a strict move the chains kind of receiver.

 

When you boil it all down, the Giants are a better team with Amani taking a much more diminished role next year should they even resign him... say a #4 receiver. And I can't say something like that would sit well with Amani. If it would, to be Smith's backup, then I would say make him a conservative offer. But as much as I love Amani and am appreciative of what he's done for our team, I think it's time for him to move on, and for the Giants to look towards the future and letting the next great Giants' wide receiver emerge.

 

Let's just hope Amani can go out with a bang just like Strahan did!

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I like your take, Jim. You're spot on. For some reason I think Plax will have learned a valuable lesson and will be a Giant for a very long time.

 

I think Plax will be back as well, as long as retire a Giant.

 

If thats the case I think Toomer should come back for one more year and see if we can start grooming those WR's behind him to take up his spot. Outside of Smith all our WRs are slot WRs at best, Hixon can develope into an explosive slot I think as well for when Smith moves up to the number two WR. Plus we have Manningham who can try to push Hixon for the slot position next year.

 

Anyways it should be interesting to see what we do, I dont think we will go after TJ or any big name WR this offseason..it doesnt seem to be Reese's style.

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I disagree with you JayD. Toomer catches passes thrown at him. He's not looked at as much as Hixon or Burress.. or even Smith. Yes the man is much older now but he has sure hands. He has EARNED the respect he's getting.. and part of that respect is letting him decide when he should hang them up.

 

I won't forget that the guy spent 15 minutes of his time after practice encouraging me to try out (kicker).. while everyone else were running to the locker room. He's a class act and a dependable player.

 

 

I know how you feel. I to hate to see the Toomer area end. But I think you are going more on the high emotions of the situation, then the facts on the ground. To me, it isnt enough that our second WR has good hands. He is finding it harder and harder to keep up with these young corners. 90% of his catches have to be placed where its impossible for anyone else to catch it, often on the side line, where he has to tip toe both feet on the line. And no one is better at that than him, but we could have so much more from his spot. It makes me sick even talking like this, but on this I gotta put my emotions aside, and see this for what it is.

 

When my boy turns 5, Im going to have him kick through the uprights everyday for a half hour, for as long as he lives with me. Im hopin one day he will thank me for it.

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