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Changing of the Line


Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara – who played in a combined 215 regular season and postseason games for the Giants – were among those let go. Also released were fullback Madison Hedgecock, another member of the Super Bowl XLII championship team, and offensive lineman Shawn Andrews, who joined the team last year.

"Rich and Shaun have been two great New York Giants," said General Manager Jerry Reese. "Both of them are good people, hard workers and have been warriors on game day."

In addition, the Giants released running back Tiki Barber from their reserve/retired list. Barber, the team's career rushing leader who retired after the 2006 season, announced in March that he wanted to return to the NFL after four seasons away from football.

Seubert and O'Hara were longtime mainstays on the Giants' offensive line. Seubert was the longest-tenured Giant (a designation now inherited by another lineman, David Diehl), having joined the team as a rookie free agent in 2001. O'Hara had been with the Giants since 2004, when he joined the team as a free agent after four seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

"I love those two guys," said Coach Tom Coughlin. "Both will go down in Giants history. They are two unique, highly competitive personalities who were superior in the locker room. Rich has the ability to stir it up, and Shaun has a great ability to counter Rich. They are great friends, but there have been times when they got going, that it nearly ended up in a fight. They are two men with unique and different abilities, but as an offensive line, you have to operate as one, and these two guys are the most competitive, tough and efficient players as I have ever had the honor and privilege to coach. They both will be missed around here."

"We will miss those guys in the locker room and their personalities, because they brought a lot to the table," quarterback Eli Manning said.

"Our lines … that's been our core strengths the last couple years," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "With the releasing of Rich and Shaun, we've got some holes to fill."

In his 10 years with the Giants, Seubert played in 104 regular season games with 88 starts and eight postseason games with seven starts. He demonstrated his courage and resolve after suffering a gruesome triple fracture to his right leg in a game against Philadelphia on Oct. 19, 2003. The injury forced Seubert to miss the entire 2004 season, but he returned to action in 2005.

Since rejoining the starting lineup late in the 2006 season, Seubert was a fixture on the line with O'Hara, Diehl, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. Those five players started 38 consecutive regular season games together, the longest streak by five offensive linemen since the 1970 merger. The streak ended on Oct. 25, 2009 when McKenzie was forced to sit with a groin injury. Seubert started 16 games in three of the last four seasons, missing the final two games in 2009 with a knee injury.

In 2010, Seubert started Games 1-7 and 14-15 at left guard and Games 8-13 and 16 at center. He was voted a first-team All-Pro by Sports Illustrated. But Seubert suffered a dislocated kneecap, plus ligament and tendon damage, in the season finale at Washington.

O'Hara started all 97 regular season and six postseason games in which he played in his seven seasons with the Giants. Including his tenure in Cleveland, O'Hara started the last 131 games in which he's played.

In 2010, O'Hara sat out 10 games because of injuries. He missed Games 4-6 with an ankle/Achilles injury and Games 8-13 and 16 with a foot injury. Both injuries required surgery following the season.

Despite being limited to just six games, O'Hara was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year. He did not play in the game because of his injuries. O'Hara and Snee were the first Giants offensive linemen selected to three Pro Bowls since center Bart Oates in 1990, '91 and '93 and the first chosen in three consecutive years since Hall of Fame tackle Rosie Brown was selected to six in a row from 1955-60.

"Those are some, on a personal note, some painful moves," said Giants President John Mara on Pro Football Talk Live earlier today. "Some of these guys, particularly Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara, have had a long history here and have been great players and great citizens for us. That was a very emotional day when we had to tell them that we were moving on. But that's the nature of this business. We just felt like we needed to put some new bodies in there."

Without Seubert and O'Hara, the Giants offensive line will have a new look when training camp opens tomorrow and when the regular season begins on Sept. 11. One possibility is for Diehl to move from left tackle to left guard, where he started 15 games in 2005 and one last season. Third-year pro Will Beatty is a candidate to take over at tackle.

Hedgecock joined the Giants on Sept. 12, 2007, a day after he was waived by the St. Louis Rams. Although he seldom touched the ball, Hedgecock quickly became a valuable member of the offense because of his crushing blocks in the run game and the assistance he provided in protecting Manning.

In four seasons, Hedgecock played in 51 games with 30 starts.  He had 20 receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing attempt and three special teams tackles. Last year, Hedgecock suffered a hamstring injury on Oct. 3 vs. Chicago and after six games on the inactive list, was placed on injured reserve.

Andrews played for the Giants only in 2010. He was signed on Aug. 19 after missing most of the previous two seasons with a back injury.

In 2010, Andrews played in 13 games with seven starts – four at left tackle, two as an extra lineman and one as a tight end. He was inactive for three games with back issues.

Andrews, a Pro Bowler with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006 and '07, made his Giants debut on special teams and in the goal line package in the season opener on Sept. 12. He started as an extra lineman vs. Chicago on Oct. 3 and the following week in Houston and as a tight end against Detroit (10/17). Andrews started at left tackle for the first time at Seattle on Nov. 7 and in the following two games vs. Dallas and at Philadelphia (11/21). He was inactive for the next three games before returning to action vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 19. Andrews started the season finale in Washington at left tackle.

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