Eight years of injuries have finally taken their toll on Kenny Phillips.
During an interview with 247Sports this week, the former first-round pick officially announced his retirement. Phillips wanted to keep playing, but he said that his body just can't handle the daily grind of the NFL anymore.
"It wasn't tough to come to grips with it because physically I can't," Phillips said. "It wasn't like, 'OK, you're not good enough.' Physically it hurts to do this and it hurts to do that. It was a like a no-brainer."
At 29 years old, Phillips now joins a long list of players who have recently retired early. Over the past two years, Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Husain Abdullah, Jerod Mayo, Walter Thurmond and D'Brickashaw Ferguson all decided to call it quits.
Although Phillips' career is being cut short by injuries, he regrets nothing.
"It was a blessing. It was a blessing to be drafted in the first round. It was a blessing to win a Super Bowl and end up in New York," Phillips said. "The fan base up there is crazy. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every season of it. Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game. It took a toll. I'd love to still be playing right now, but physically I can't so I just keep my mind off of it and do the next best thing, which is be around it as much as I can."
Phillips played in all 16 games for the Giants during his rookie year, but saw his second season cut short after he injured his knee. The defensive back was placed on injured reserve after only playing in two games in 2009.
The knee injury didn't slow Phillips down, though. He returned in 2010 and played in a total of 30 of the Giants' 32 games in 2010 and 2011. Phillips picked off four passes in 2011, which was the second-highest total for a Giants team that went on to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
After the Super Bowl win, Phillips would suffer a pair of knee injuries that limited him to a total of seven games between 2012 and 2014.
Phillips attempted to make a comeback with the Saints in 2015, and lasted for several weeks. As a free safety, Phillips started three games for the injury-depleted New Orleans secondary. The Saints ended up cutting him in October after several players came back from injury.
Phillips played in a total of 59 games during his career and picked off eight passes.