The New York Giants‘ offensive line was a mess in 2013, but things were looking up for 2014 with free agent additions and players returning from injury. One player they were excited to see coming back was right guard Chris Snee. The return was short-lived, however, as over the weekend it was rumored Snee was going to be forced to retire which will come to fruition Monday when the Giants report for training camp. The Giants will have a big hole not only on the field, but off it now as well.
The Giants will have to look elsewhere to get that production out of the offensive line, as Snee will not be able to play this season. After having two hip surgeries the past two seasons, the one for his elbow looked to finally put him over the edge. Snee was unable to make it through the team’s minicamp in June, which raised concerns over how healthy he really was. The Giants said it was all part of the plan to keep Snee healthy and fresh for training camp and the regular season, but the concerns were validated with Snee’s retirement.
On the field, Snee was expected to help stabilize an offensive line that couldn’t gain its footing in 2013. Injuries and ineffective play derailed them right from the start, as the offense sputtered all season. With no protection, Eli Manning was teed off on, absorbing 40 sacks. The running game was not much better, as the line was unable to consistently open up running lanes for the backs to take advantage of.
Off the field, specifically in the locker room, Snee will be greatly missed as well. As a two-time Super Bowl winner, Snee brings leadership, veteran presence and a voice in the locker room to listen to when things are getting tough. After having locker room stalwarts and team culture leaders Justin Tuck, Terrell Thomas, David Diehl and Kevin Boothe all leaving this offseason, Snee was expected to help carry that torch. That responsibility will now fall onto others such as Antrel Rolle and Jon Beason, two players who have emerged as big-time leaders on and off the field in recent seasons.
Another thing Snee’s retirement could have an effect on is the future of head coach Tom Coughlin; Coughlin is Snee’s father-in-law and the grandfather to his three sons. Anyone who has watched the Giants since Coughlin took over as head coach knows that he is as intense and serious as any coach in the NFL, but he values time with his family as well.
Often times his grandsons would be in the locker room following games, something Coughlin definitely valued. That is something that will not be happening this season, as Snee will no longer be in the locker room week in and week out. Coughlin has said that he is not considering retirement, even at the age of 68, the oldest coach in the league. Could that decision be starting to change as Coughlin will now be seeing less and less of his family?
Snee has been an integral part of the Giants for the past decade and will greatly be missed both on and off the field. The performance on the field will be hard to replicate as Snee was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl winner. Off the field, the leadership will be missed and the unique relationship with Coughlin could change his future outlook as head coach of the team. No matter what happens, the Giants are losing a great player and great person whose career was derailed as his body began to fail him and surgeries mounted.