David Tyree, Ike Hilliard Retire as Giants
Instead, he closed a seven-year career Friday that will be forever known for the against-the-top-of the head 32-yard catch in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII that propelled the New York Giants to a 17-14 upset of the New England Patriots. "
I never really saw my career even happening to begin with,'' said Tyree, who grew up in Montclair, N.J., about 15 miles from the Meadowlands. "Once it did get off to a start it was kind of a fairytale ride for a kid out of Essex County and the story couldn't have been written any better and I was honored from the start of things even in the most shakiest of moments to have played my career with a class organization and it was only fitting that I ended there.''
Tyree, bothered by knee problems since his heroic catch, played last year as a special teamer for Baltimore after being released by New York. Both he and Ike Hilliard, another receiver who was the team's first-round pick in 1997, will retire as Giants after signing one-day contracts. Hilliard spent his final four seasons with Tampa Bay.
Tyree, a sixth-round draft pick in 2003, was drafted as a special teamer and had just 54 catches for his career. But he will always be known for Super Bowl XLII, when he caught a five-yard pass for the Giants' first touchdown against unbeaten New England, then made a leaping third-down 32-yard catch late, pinning the ball against his helmet as he went to the ground.
Four plays later, Eli Manning threw to Plaxico Burress for the Super Bowl-winning touchdown. Tyree sat out 2008 with a knee injury before moving to the Ravens last season.
Tyree, a Pro Bowler as a special teamer for the Giants, said during a conference call that he considered coming back for another season but got no hard offers and added that he was satisfied to retire to business and a ministry he has been running with teenagers.
"Obviously that is the one signature moment which I'll be remembered for as a football player, but I was definitely satisfied with the complete body of work as well,'' he said.
Hilliard, 34, started 92 games for the Giants from 1997-2004 and is fifth in Giants franchise history with 368 receptions. He had 178 more catches in four seasons with the Bucs. He is now the wide receivers coach for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL.