EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants’ second longest-tenured player is staying with the team.
“In theory, you could be a free agent, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather play,” DeOssie said. “I knew that from day one when I stepped in here after I got drafted. I’m very fortunate to still be here and contribute in any way possible."
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DeOssie is entering his 11th NFL season, all with the Giants. Quarterback Eli Manning, who is preparing for his 14th season, is the only current Giants player who has been with the team longer than DeOssie. They are the only players remaining from the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl XLII championship team, and two of the five players left from the team that won Super Bowl XLVI (Jason Pierre-Paul, Mark Herzlich and Will Beatty, all of whom are free agents).
“It’s certainly weird,” DeOssie said. “The last few years I’ve been going through that transformation. There’s no denying I’m one of the oldest on the team. It was weird at first, but now I absolutely love it. I enjoy being with these young men and watching them grow, and also learning from them and growing myself.”
DeOssie was a fourth-round draft choice in 2007, from Brown University. Since joining the team, he has played in 156 of 160 regular-season games and all 10 of the team’s postseason games. DeOssie missed the final four games of the 2015 season after undergoing wrist surgery. But he returned last year to play in every game, and help the Giants earn their first playoff berth in five seasons. DeOssie tied Dwayne Harris for the team lead with seven special teams tackles, increasing his career total to 77.
“It was one of the most enjoyable years,” DeOssie said. “Obviously, the Super Bowl years were fantastic. But having accumulated so many years, and coming back off that injury and enjoying a little bit of success, it allowed me to truly appreciate the opportunity I have to play for such an incredible organization, and also with such incredible teammates.”
Those teammates have elected him the Giants’ special teams captain each of the last six seasons. DeOssie was also selected to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. As he enters his 11th season, he has his eyes on a former Giants player – his father, Steve DeOssie, a linebacker and long snapper who played here from 1989-93, and was a member of the Super Bowl XXV championship team.
“It means the world to me to have played here this long,” DeOssie said. “When you’re young you can hope and dream. Now I’ll take whatever I can get and enjoy the ride while it lasts. My dad played for 12 years for four different teams. So hopefully, I can get to 12 someday, and hopefully beat him.”