The Giants signed two draft picks this week, neither of whom has any chance of making the team. That’s because those draft picks were from 1997 and 2003.
Ike Hilliard (first round, ’97) and David Tyree (seventh round, ’03) both signed one-day contracts with the team this week and then promptly announced their retirement while a member of their original team. The two wide receivers will be on a conference call later this morning to talk about what that means to them.
Hilliard, 34, played in 98 games with 92 starts for the Giants from 1997-2004. He ranks fifth in franchise history with 368 receptions, eighth with 4,630 yards and is tied for 11th with 27 touchdowns catches. He had eight 100-yard games. He has not played in the NFL since 2008 and is currently a wide receivers coach for the Florida Tuskers in the UFL.
Tyree’s contributions were much more subtle, although he was a Pro Bowler as a special teamer. His career would likely have faded away if not for a remarkable performance in Super Bowl XLII which included a key touchdown reception and of course the dazzling helmet catch that has become the iconic symbol of the win over the Patriots.
Tyree never played another game for the Giants after that Super Bowl win. He spent the following year in injured reserve, tried to make the squad in last year’s training camp (he was cut), and played 10 games for the Ravens in 2009. That reception with Rodney Harrison yanking on him, though, remains his final NFL catch.
Not a bad way to end things.