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After being released by Giants, David Baas is focusing on health

An official checks on center David Baas at

An official checks on center David Baas at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 30, 2011. Credit: David Pokress

David Baas was released by the Giants. Now he must decide if he'll try to ever play in the NFL again.

"I haven't lost that drive, I haven't lost that desire to play football," Baas told from his home in Florida. "But sometimes other things are more important, and we've come to that crossroads. The thing that takes precedence right now is my health."

Baas was released because of a failed physical with the team. He had multiple surgeries coming into the 2013 season and played only three games before he required knee surgery that landed him on injured reserve. He's also had chronic issues with his neck, something that could be a big issue for him if he pursues a 10th NFL season.

"I'm actually going to get another opinion next week," he said of his neck situation. "I've gotten a couple different people saying that they would recommend [surgery] if I ever wanted to play again. It's definitely something I have to think through. That's what we're going to do. I don't want to make a rash decision and pay for it later, so we'll listen to the experts.

"I love the game of football," he added. "My heart is still into it, but sometimes you've got to put your health and your future with your family and all that stuff first. We're just gathering all the information right now and we'll see. The Giants had to do what they had to do, and now I can focus on getting my knee better and I can also really gather all my information that I need for my neck and figure out what the best decision is."

Baas turns 33 in September, and given the toll the first nine seasons of professional football have taken on his body there is no sure thing that an NFL team would be willing to sign him, even if he wanted to return to the league. But if he does, he seemed to have an idea which team he'd check out first.

"The Giants have been absolutely fantastic," he said. "They definitely have changed mine and my family's lives forever. Once we get the health issues taken care of, we'll go from there, and maybe there's another chance [to play]. Coming back to the Giants, who knows?"

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