The New York Giants signed both David Tyree and Ike Hilliard to one-day contracts so they can retire as Giants. After years of loyal service given to the team, the Giants thought it only fair to grant them their wish of retiring with the franchise. NFL betting trends favored the Giants while the two players were on the roster.
The two players started their careers with the franchise in different ways, but both ended up making an impact on the field in one way or another. Hilliard was selected in the first round as the seventh overall pick in the 1997 draft out of the University of Florida. Tyree was not thought to be a big time player, and fell to the sixth round in the 2003 draft.
Hilliard would immediately become a starter in New York, and played for the Giants in his first eight seasons. He helped the team reach Super Bowl XXXV, where the Giants suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He finished his career as a Giant with 368 receptions for 4,630 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Tyree was featured mainly as a backup for the team that let Hilliard go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. In 2007, Tyree caught four balls for 35 yards and failed to score a single touchdown. His biggest contribution would be his drive-saving catch in Super Bowl XLII.
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The first touchdown reception for Tyree would come in the Super Bowl that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead late in the game against the undefeated New England Patriots. The Giants trailed 14-10 late in the game when Eli Manning led a game-winning drive down the field. Those setting NFL lines had the Patriots as the favorite, but the Giants would not be denied.
Manning hooked up with Tyree on a 3rd-and-5 prayer of a pass that Rodney Harrison failed to knock out of his hands with just over a minute left. Tyree pulled the ball down on his helmet, and became a Giants’ Super Bowl legend. Seconds later the Giants won the game on a touchdown pass from Manning to Plaxico Burress.
“I have never sat down and watched the game in its entirety,” Tyree admitted about the Giants’ Super Bowl upset over the Patriots. “I know it means a lot more to me now. I don’t think I have the full understanding of the depth of what occurred.”
Tyree remains satisfied with his entire career, even if it did have just one shining moment.
“With my entire career, that is obviously the one signature move I will be remembered for as a football player. But I was definitely satisfied with the complete body of work as well,” added Tyree.
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Hilliard suffered many injuries in his NFL that limited his production for the Giants. Even though he fought through some tough set-backs, Hilliard is still proud of his play with the Giants.
“[From] being injured my rookie season to being fortunate enough to play in the Super Bowl — even though we couldn’t close the deal — to even how it ended, as far as just parting ways … it will always stick with me,” said Hilliard. “They are all the moments I enjoy and cherish and I will until the day I die.”
NFL sports betting sites have set the Giants’ pre-season Super Bowl XLV odds at +2500.