Amani Toomer Burns His Bridge With the Giants

Amani Toomer's never going to be confused for Terrell Owens. While Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey, Michael Strahan and others dominated the headlines, Toomer quietly went about his business with nary a peep. He never complained when he went from the lead receiver to a secondary role, and his consistent play always meant the Giants had one less position to worry about when planning for the next game or season.

That came to an end on Wednesday. Toomer let loose with his feelings about his role on the team following Plaxico Burress' departure and left no doubt that his feelings were bruised. Toomer felt like the team would have won more than one of their final five games if he'd played a bigger role, and said that he felt the team was deliberately phasing him out of the offense.

"It's hard not to get emotional because I've been there so long, but I've seen it happen many, many times before to other players," Toomer said. "It's part of the business. We have a disagreement -- they have one opinion of me and I have another. When a relationship is good, it's good; when it's not, it's not."

Toomer, a free agent this offseason, didn't rule out a return to the team next season. His comments will probably did that for him, though. While he's been a good soldier, Toomer will turn 35 in September and he isn't good enough to replace Burress' production all by himself.

The Giants need to replace Burress, and re-sign Brandon Jacobs and/or Derrick Ward to boot. With Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith already in house, the Giants can survive without Toomer, especially since evidence backs up his contention about his role in the offense as the 2008 season wound down.

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