Veteran long snapper Zak DeOssie could have tested the free agent market and perhaps earned a more lucrative contract. But the 11th-year special teams ace, who turns 33 in May, decided his loyalty rests with the Giants, not a potentially more lucrative deal.
“In theory, you could be a free agent, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather play,” said DeOssie, who signed a new two-year deal Friday. Financial terms of the contract were not released. “I knew that from Day 1 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 and quarterback Eli Manning are the only two remaining players from the Giants’ last two Super Bowl championship seasons. DeOssie was a fourth-round rookie out of Brown when he was selected by the Giants in 2007. The team won the Super Bowl that season and again in the 2011 season.
“It’s certainly weird,” DeOssie said of being one of the last players standing from the first Super Bowl title of the Tom Coughlin-Manning era. “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 has played in 156 of 160 regular-season games and in all 10 of the team’s postseason games since he was drafted. He returned in 2016 from surgery to repair torn tendons in his wrist after missing the final four games in 2015. He helped the Giants earn their first playoff berth since 2011.
“It was one of the most enjoyable years,” DeOssie said of the 2016 season. “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.”
DeOssie has been the Giants’ special teams captain each of the last six seasons. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. His father, former linebacker Steve DeOssie, played for the Giants from 1989 to 1993 and was a member of the Super Bowl XXV team.
“It means the world to me to have played here this long,” Zak 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.”