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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants may have found a new starter in the seventh round of the draft, and it had nothing to do with middle linebacker.
General manager Jerry Reese drafted East Carolina punter Matt Dodge in the seventh round and then revealed that starting punter Jeff Feagles might retire as early as this coming week.
|Jeff Feagles won a Super Bowl ring with the Giants in the 2007 season, his 20th in the NFL.|
Feagles met with head coach Tom Coughlin and informed the Giants that his 44-year-old body might not be up for a 23rd season.
"He is really not sure if physically he is going to be able to do it," Reese said of Feagles. "He has been working out really hard in the offseason trying to get himself ready to go. I think in his mind he really wants to do it, but I don't think he is sure if his body can do it."We are trying to protect ourselves from that respect and we will probably address that in the middle of next week and see which way that is going to go."
Feagles has punted for the Giants for the last seven seasons. He also is the holder and the Coughlin said new backup quarterback Jim Sorgi has started practicing holding on field goal attempts. With the addition of Dodge, who ranked second in the nation with a 45.8-yard average, the Giants have three punters now on the roster, including Australian rules football player Jy Bond.
"Big leg, powerful," Reese said when describing Dodge. "This guy can hit some moon shots. Some inconsistencies, as most young punters have. I think he can be a good punter for us and he will be in the mix competing for that job."
Coughlin said he'd be surprised if Feagles opts to return.
"If he decided that he wants to do this ... I think the question is could do this. I think it is at that point for him," Coughlin said. "Jeff is going to come in and we will continue to talk further. Jeff called me last week and came in to see me and we talked about where he was and what his thinking was and his considerations about perhaps retiring."
"I was surprised," Coughlin added. "I wouldn't tell you any different. But then again, Jeff was trying to do the right thing by letting us know with the draft in front of us instead of behind us. He did the honorable thing, as he would always do. He is coming in this week and we will see what the final status is. Obviously we felt it was important enough to act."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.