Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield never admitted it until now: He played the entire season with a shoulder problem that will require off-season surgery.
Cofield, who played the 2010 under a one-year contract as a restricted free agent, elected to play despite the injury because he would have missed the entire season had he not delayed surgery. Cofield said he may have a torn rotator cuff.
"I played with a bad shoulder all year," said Cofield, who declined to say which shoulder was injured. "If I would have gotten (surgery) this past off-season, playing this year wouldn't have been an option. I'm looking forward to getting it corrected."
Cofield will be an unrestricted free agent if the NFL and NFL Players Association agree on a collective bargaining agreement that reinstates free agency after four seasons. Cofield was restricted last year despite playing five seasons, because the uncapped season meant unrestricted free agency didn't kick in until six years.
"I’ll be stronger than ever going forward," he said. "I'll be back before next season."
Cofield said he'd love to be back with the Giants, but understands the reality of free agency - namely that there are no guarantees.
"I've done everything right, and I've given them everything I had," he said. "I'd love to be back, but I really don't know what will happen."