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Strahan's retirement creates alluring Hall of Fame class

Just as Jerome Bettis walked away from football after winning the Super Bowl, Michael Strahan now has done the same.

Strahan is retiring.

Strahan has a lucrative offer from FOX-TV waiting for him, and could emerge into the type of star on TV that he was for the Giants. Strahan also thoroughly enjoys the life he has built for himself in the Los Angeles area.

Now that the Giants have won the Super Bowl, Strahan would have had a difficult time duplicating the type of season that New York ran off last year.

Strahan -- the Giants all-time sack leader and the NFL's single-season sack-record holder -- now joins Brett Favre, Steve McNair, Warren Sapp and Priest Holmes as former NFL greats that have retired this offseason.

It creates the possibility of an awfully alluring Hall of Fame class five years from now.

Yet Strahan's decision was not met without some resistance. The Giants had been willing to sweeten his contract, increasing the $4 million in base salary that the Pro Bowl defensive end was scheduled to earn this season.

Strahan's decision hardly was rooted in money. It was more about his lifestyle and the future. There turned out to be little the Giants could do to sway Strahan's thinking.

In recent weeks, Giants veteran linebacker Antonio Pierce had been predicting that Strahan would retire. Pierce did it on WFAN in New York, and repeated it on The Howard Stern Show.

In late April, Strahan joined some of his teammates at an NFL Network function in New York City and put on his Giants uniform. Reminded that it might be the last time he wears the uniform, Strahan nodded and said, "I've already told my teammates that."

Retirement was on his mind then, and it clearly is in his future. The decision the Giants have waited for since they were bathed in confetti after upsetting the Patriots has become official.

Strahan is retiring.

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