During his 10 seasons for the Giants, he made the Pro Bowl four times, and from 2005-12, he started all 127 games he played (he missed only one game during that eight-year span). But Snee missed 13 games last year due to injury, and on Monday, the team announced the 32-year-old was retiring.
"I know," Snee said, "it's my time."
Snee had planned to play in 2014 after doctors surgically-repaired his right elbow. But he couldn't participate in offseason workouts, and his elbow simply never felt better.
"Before OTAs started I was confident,” Snee said. “I was moving around great and I was strong enough where I felt that I could play and compete. But then once OTAs came around, I had to punch and stop somebody … obviously, we're not wearing pads. I wasn't able to do it. Quite frankly, it hurt. But I thought maybe it was my joint getting used to that again. But the more I tried to do it, it became a concern to me that it wasn't responding the way it should and actually my (elbow) strength had started to go down in the weight room."
So, Snee told general manager Jerry Reese after OTAs that he was thinking about retiring, and he ultimately came to that conclusion last week (though the Giants apparently were willing to wait through the summer to see if Snee's elbow got better). Snee informed Coughlin on Saturday, and on Sunday, he called Eli Manning to tell him the news.
"I think Chris was everything you could ever hope for in a player: toughness, integrity, and a lot of pride,” Giants owner John Mara said. “Winning mattered to him. I think he set a great example for all of the other players. He's somebody we're going to miss very much. He was one of the greatest offensive linemen in Giants history, and he'll be on that Ring of Honor someday.”
Said Coughlin: “To me, he was the best guard in all of football. No doubt. No matter who you put him against, all of the great defensive tackles in the game, the 350 (pound) guys, the 340 guys, he blocked them."
In the Giants release, Coughlin also had this cute short story to share about the first time he met Snee with his daughter Kate.
“The first time I met him I was [coaching] with Jacksonville and I went up to Boston College [to scout a running back]," Coughlin said. "Kate was a freshman at BC and I said, ‘Let's have dinner tonight.' She said, ‘Dad, can I bring a friend?' It was Snee. He doesn't say a word. Not one word that I can remember. You should see him with his kids. He's unbelievable. He has really blossomed here.”