Herzlich, who turned 31 on Saturday, missed the entire 2017 season with a stinger suffered during training camp. This year, he worked primarily with the second-team defense and played in each of the Giants’ preseason games. His 14 tackles were tied for the most on the team.
Herzlich defied the odds just by making it to the NFL. He was a star at Boston College when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. At the time of his diagnosis, doctors told him his football career was over. In addition, he was told that he might never walk again.
Herzlich returned to the Eagles for his senior season. He signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2011 after the lockout. He started two games at middle linebacker during his rookie season but was sidelined with an ankle injury. Chase Blackburn was brought in to replace Herzlich and started in the Giants’ win in Super Bowl XLVI.
Herzlich became a team leader later in his career known for doing anything just to get on the field. He changed his jersey number from 94 to 44 and flirted with the idea of being a two-way player at linebacker and tight end. In spite of his injury last season, he was a constant presence around the Giants facility.
Herzlich also became known for his off-the-field charitable work as well. He was the Giants’ 2017 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. If he doesn’t re-sign with another team, joining the Giants’ front office is a possibility.
In 88 career games for the Giants, Herzlich has 153 total tackles (106 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and two fumbles recovered. With Herzlich’s release, the only players remaining from the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI victory are quarterback Eli Manning and long snapper Zak DeOssie.
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.