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Punter Jeff Feagles signs with Giants for 23rd NFL season

Mr. P

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Punter Jeff Feagles will be back with the Giants for his 23rd season, according to Giants VP of communications Pat Hanlon.


The 44-year-old's future with the team was uncertain last month, when The Star-Ledger reported he and the Giants were locked in a contract standoff that was far from resolution. On March 18, the team signed former Australian Rules Football player Jy Bond. But Feagles, whose two-year deal was up after last season, signed a new contract with the Giants Thursday.


Terms of the deal were not immediately available.


At the end of the 2009 season, Feagles said he wouldn't make a "knee-jerk" decision on his future. But he maintained he was physically able to keep playing and will now do so with the Giants.


Feagles made the Pro Bowl in 2008, when he had a career-high net yards average of 40.2. Last season, the directional punter struggled with a few mis-kicks before the bye week. He finished the season with a net average of 36.0 and 23 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line.



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He might not make it though:


Earlier Thursday, the Giants announced they had re-signed Jeff Feagles. A few hours later, they indicated in their press release his contract far from guarantees him the job as the team's punter.


“In my meeting with Tom (Coughlin) it was very, very clear that I was going to compete for my job this year,” Feagles said in the release. “And my answer to that was, ‘That’s fine.’ I have been competing for a long time. That is what makes it all better anyway, competition. Plus, we will have another leg in camp which will be good for me, too. So I just have really said to myself, ‘Listen, get a contract done and just go compete.’ And I’m confident that I will be on the roster.”


Feagles' competition will come from former Australian rules football player Jy Bond, who was signed by the team last month. Though Bond has never suited up for an NFL game, the team is obviously impressed with his leg strength.


Meanwhile, even Feagles realizes he must improve from last season, when he lost 3.3 yards on his total average and almost four yards on his net average.


“I was disappointed in my consistency,” Feagles said. “I just didn’t think that I kicked the ball very well. We had a couple of long returns last year that really didn’t sit well. I just had some punts that were backed up and didn’t flip the field for the team. And then I got into that little rut - those three games kicking the ball out of bounds. So I think that overall I just wasn’t as consistent as I have been in the past.


"So I am correcting it. I have gone back and looked at things and decided that I have put this plan together. It all started back when I said that I had to figure out if I really wanted to come back and do this again – go through the routine of working out and getting back in good shape and figuring out if I can still do this, because it is tough at my age. You have to work harder than everybody else.”


Feagles said he was working hard on a knee that required surgery in 2005 and has prevented him from strengthening his kicking leg the way he'd like over the past couple of years. In fact, he has often been relieved of kicking duties during training camp so he wouldn't overwork the joint.


But Feagles believes his strength is back.


"It took a while, because I was very cautious. I didn’t want to injure myself," he said. "We did some things and got it back and now I feel that I will continue to do the work that I have been doing.”


Once he realized he could withstand another season, Feagles called the Giants to tell them he was ready to return. After a few hiccups in talks over what I'm told is a heavily incentive-laden contract, Feagles and the Giants finally agreed to an undisclosed contract.


"It took three weeks to get it finished," Feagles said. "I’m excited about it and I’m ready to get back in a Giant uniform again and play in the new stadium.”


* * * *


Speaking of the new stadium, I hear Feagles and the Giants spent a part of their contract talks discussing the building and how the ball will fly in there. Obviously, no one knows yet, so it'll be interesting to see what happens and whether the winds of the old stadium were due more to the design or the Meadowlands area.


* * * *

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Before this coming season is over, I will buy a Feagles jersey.


Though the last jersey I bought was Osi's three days before that pre-season game against the Jets........maybe it's just coincidence.



Shoulda bought a C.C. Brown jersey last year.

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pretty gracious in "victory" arent we.


No harm meant...


I just said that it didn't make sense not to sign him to compete for his job in training camp...especially if this Bond guy is all talk...

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