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Giants deal Shockey to Saints

By Tom Rock

Newsday

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Looking back now, it may have been one of Jeremy Shockey’s best plays as a Giant. He got into a shouting match with the general manager, rankled the head coach, spread chatter about his discontent during the offseason and threatened to turn the post-Super Bowl training camp into a daily soap opera. For a guy who wanted out, it was about as precise a route as he’s ever run.

So when the Giants finally agreed to trade the four-time Pro Bowl tight end to the Saints Monday — receiving a second- and a fifth-round pick in the 2009 draft in return — it came as no real surprise. In fact, for some of the key participants in the negotiations that simmered for almost five months, it was quite likely a relief.

"It has been difficult and it has been challenging and I know that personally Jeremy has been struggling with his future," Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, who had what he called a "special relationship" with Shockey, told Newsday Monday. "He made it very clear to me and John Mara and Jerry (Reese) and coach Coughlin that he wanted to play for another team. I hope this proves to be a win-win for everybody, selfishly for the Giants and I hope things work out for Jeremy in New Orleans. I think he’s got a lot of football left in him."

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The trade still depends on Shockey passing a physical, which the Saints will administer either Tuesday or Wednesday. Shockey, who has never played an entire 16-game season, missed the final two games of last year’s regular season with a broken fibula and was sidelined during the team’s remarkable postseason run to a championship. It was that injury — and the success the team found without him on the field — that seemed to spark Shockey’s desire to leave the Giants.

"February 3rd must have been a very difficult day for him," said Tisch, who had Shockey as a guest in his box for that game in Phoenix. "I really hope from his point of view, this is the resolution he was looking for."

Shockey will be reunited with Saints coach Sean Payton, who was the Giants’ offensive coordinator in 2002 when Shockey joined the NFL as a first-round pick out of Miami. He’ll also be teammates with fellow Hurricanes product Jonathan Vilma, a former Jets linebacker who was dealt to the Saints earlier this offseason.

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