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Luke Petitgout: New York Giants Always Know When It’s the Right Time to Say Goodbye

February 9th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Jen Polashock

Everyone wants to live life by their own terms. Why wouldn’t NFL players? It is never easy when told that: “the team is going in a different direction” or “we no longer need your services.” Much like being fired from a job, an immediate reaction sets in and it isn’t always one of higher ground.

Recent roster cuts by the New York Football Giants have elicited mostly gracious statements from those athletes who are no longer on said roster. Moving forward as a “former” can take its toll on the pride of these guys. Anger is the first emotional response and revenge is something that is obviously most sought-after. The fact that football on a professional level is a business…well, that just is the last thing a bruised ego wants to hear.

Back when Bill Parcells told tight end Mark Bavaro that his knee wasn’t going to hold up much longer, to when Dan Reeves cut Super Bowl XXI MVP quarterback Phil Simms in favor of Dave Brown, to Jim Fassel sending defensive backfield favorite cornerback Jason Sehorn packing, there has been and always will be a bit more to the stories.

Offensive lineman Luke Petitgout was another starter that fell to injury, and eventually the Giants’ roster cut monster in February 2007. A month later, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but finished his only season there on injured reserve after he tore his ACL in week four. Tampa Bay subsequently released him in August of 2008.

Petitgout recently sat down with the New York Post and revealed how he felt as one of General Manager Jerry Reese’s first crucial cuts of older/injury-prone players in 2007.

“It’s a machine," Petitgout told The Post. “Players think they have the power and the leverage. It’s the team. It never stops. It spits people out left and right."

#77 clearly had some animosity about the “corporate” aspect of football and how Reese was conducting blue business. Of course, shock was the immediate feeling, followed by some resentment.

“He’s basically getting rid of the guys before they expire, so to speak," Petitgout said. “They’re always looking for younger, cheaper – just like getting new tires on your car."

Luke Petitgout was a first-round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 1999 and not only played, but started for them (all over the offensive line) until 2006, when he was released. If you all remember, #77 broke his leg late in the ‘06 season, but chose not to have surgery at that time on his chronically-hurt back. With another two years on his contract, he was cut and the Giants saved on his $5 million-a-year contract. Petitgout claims he’s over the ill will.

“The Giants are a family. It’s something tough to accept, like when a girlfriend dumps you. They know when your time is up. Some guys may buck the trend and have a good couple years after that but if you’ve been there a long time, they know your medical history, they know your aches and pains, they usually make the right decision," he said.

As time passes, with it comes a period to reflect on what has transpired. Eventually, clarity comes though as the cloudy ego has diminished. The New York Giants aren’t a team that does their players dirty; the organization does what is necessary to attain the goal of Lombardi trophy.

“I basically had a time bomb in my back and when I went to Tampa it went off. The Giants knew what they were doing. I was mad at the time, I harbored some ill will for a while," Petitgout said. “Time has healed everything. My time with the Giants, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wasn’t exactly Mary Poppins on my way out. I think that’s just because I love the Giants. That’s really what the bottom line is. It hurts a player to the soul. It’s like back to the playground days of the last guy to get picked, that kind of deal."

Once a Giant, Always a Giant. Wellington Mara’s words seem to strike deep chords in players that spend a good number of their career in blue.

photo credit: alexa627 via photopin cc

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Tags: Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Football, Jerry Reese, Luke Petitgout, Mark Bavaro, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Phil Simms, Wellington Mara

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15 Responses to “Luke Petitgout: New York Giants Always Know When It’s the Right Time to Say Goodbye”

  1.  Dirt says:

    David Wilson needs to learn to block so he doesn’t get Eli killed, but the Giants once let Luke Petitgout protect Eli’s blindside. Yeah OK!

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Petigout was never great but before he started having back problems he was serviceable. He played in SB 37 as the Giants right tackle and eventually moved over and was pretty good. Not first-round good, but serviceable.

      •  G-MenFan says:

        *SB35, sorry.

      •  Chad Eldred says:

        I wasn’t a fan of the pick when it was made. But if you get 8 years of starting play from a guy he is, in fact, “first-round good.”

        •  G-MenFan says:

          You’re joking, right?
          So every O-lineman that starts for 8 years is “first-round good” to you?

          •  Chad Eldred says:

            Petigout was taken at 19. Let’s go back 8 years. Players taken in the vicintiy of the 19th pick.

            18

            Minnesota Vikings

            Erasmus James

            DE

            Wisconsin

            19

            St. Louis Rams

            Alex Barron

            T

            Florida State

            20

            Dallas Cowboys

            Marcus Spears

            DE

            Louisiana State

            21

            Jacksonville Jaguars

            Matt Jones

            WR

            Arkansas

            22

            Baltimore Ravens

            Mark Clayton

            WR

            Oklahoma

            What are these guys up to now? Take a look at some actual draft history and then come back and ask me if I’m joking. As any GM how he feels if he can get 8 solid years out of his 19th overall pick at LT and tell me what he says.

            •  G-MenFan says:

              I don’t personally know any NFL GMs like you, but if I did, I suspect they would say “it depends on their level of play and if they helped elevate our offense to contend for a championship.” I guess you could argue that Pettigout did that as a right tackle in 2000. But never again with him on the team. Ron Stone was a better lineman for the Giants in my opinion, and the Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round. He started for 12 years and went to 3 Pro Bowls. There are more examples of guys like that than there are of first-round O-linemen who have been worth the pick in that round. Starting for 8 years doesn’t always justify drafting a lineman in the first round.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Pettigout was VERY solid when healthy! his problem was that he was a wlaking false start.

  2.  G-MenFan says:

    ” I wasn’t exactly Mary Poppins on my way out.”
    LMAO. Great line.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    A great big NO to Ellerbee!!!

    Guy is overrated IMO, and we’d have to pay up for him when there are plenty of linebackers available in the draft who are probably about as good as he will be, and come at a small fraction of the price.

    I know everyone thinks I’m nuts (and, rightly, holds Wilkinson against me) but I think Williams and Paysinger are for real. We need a solution at MIKE, and we need depth at linebacker, but we don’t need Ellerbee so much. We can still sign Rivers cheap. We may have something in Muasau. Herzlich may be ready to show he can be the solution.

    •  Hanshi says:

      No to Ellerbee from me too. That money needs to be spent in other areas. We need help on the OL and DB. I think we’ll see what we have at LB this season with maybe a vet minimum addition or a draft pick.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      I’m not sold on Williams or Paysinger, at all. However, Ellerbee reeks of Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas and the litany of others that have cashed in on their proximity to superstar teammates.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    First of all NO to Ellerbee.. Nice player, will get overpaid by someone for his post season run. Second of all I still think its cute that folks think we are going to sign any big ticket free agents.. I’m guessing Santy Clause or Easter Bunny will be delivering them to us.. We have NOWHERE near the cap room to take on anything above vet minimum or slightly above vet minimum free agents. Whatever Cap room JR can finagle by cutting guys will have to be used to keep the 5-7 of our 30 UFA’s,RFA’s and ERFA’s that he deems the most important and irreplaceable. Guys like Beatty, Bennett, Boothe, Cruz, S. Brown, Phillips, Hixon, Locklear, A. Brown or Tracy. We will still have to cut or restructure 3-5 deals just to get 5-7 of those guys re signed… Talking about any free agent is wishful thinking at best

    •  demo3356 says:

      What we will see is deals like the Locklear and Bennett deals last year or the Pascoe or rogers deal this year. There just isnt the funds for big ticket items

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