February 27, 2013
Giants right tackle David Diehl said he hasn't been asked to take a pay cut yet, or heard any inkling about his future with the team.
But he's seen enough to know his time could come any time.
Diehl offered Newsday's Tom Rock a glimpse into the mind of a smart NFL veteran, admitting he never knows when he shows up at the office whether it's going to be his last.
"The thing you realize at an early age is that as an NFL player you have an expiration date on you and it comes with a price tag," Diehl said. "That's the way that it always goes. Nothing has been said to me yet, but that's all things you can't control. The only things you can control are the way you prepare each and every day, getting myself healthy, and whenever that comes about we'll deal with it. But as of now, nothing has been said."
The Giants have already parted ways with Chris Canty, Michael Boley and Ahmad Bradshaw, and more moves could be coming.
Diehl has been showing up daily at the Giants facility to rehab his right knee after an arthroscopic procedure, which he had right after the season. Getting well is a big deal, whether it's for the Giants or another team.
The 32-year-old tackle is entering the last year of his contract, set to earn a base salary of $4.475 million. That makes him ripe for some degree of transaction depending on other moves the Giants make up front.
With Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe pending unrestricted free agents, the Giants might have to prioritize.
"Am I shocked or surprised? No," Diehl said of Giants roster turnover so far. "This has happened year in and year out since I've been in the NFL, not only with our team but with teams across the league. This is something that always happens."
Diehl's approach is at once fatalistic and realistic, as very few players get to leave on their own terms. And with the salary cap a factor in every transaction, having a big salary is only good news if you get to keep it into the regular season.