EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants have lots of free agents they will have to make decisions on during the offseason.
Several of them spoke to reporters in the locker room on Monday.
Perhaps most prominent among them was safety Kenny Phillips, a key player in the Giants' secondary the past few years. Phillips was a first-round draft pick by the team in 2008, and started all 31 games he played in 2010 and 2011.
But 2012 was a whole 'nother story. Phillips played in just seven games because of a knee injury -- missing a six-game stretch in October and November, and then missing three more games in December, before returning for the season finale.
"It was frustrating," Phillips said. "Some days are better than others, but it’s just all part of the game and you have to deal with it."
Fellow safety Stevie Brown thrived in Phillips' absence, with eight interceptions on the season -- second most in the league.
Phillips did not sound confident Monday, in terms of returning to the team. "Whatever happens, happens," Phillips said. "At the end of the day I know I’ll be playing somewhere, whether it be here or somewhere else. I will be playing football."
Wide receiver Domenik Hixon was delighted to finish the season healthy, after missing the entire 2010 season and most of 2011 with torn ACLs.
Hixon, 28, finished with 39 catches for 567 yards and two touchdowns, and also handled punt-return duties.
"I’d definitely like to come back," Hixon said. "We’ll see how things play out."
Linebacker Chase Blackburn started 15 games for the Giants in 2012, after the Giants re-signed him late in the 2011 season. Blackburn was sitting at home for the first 12 weeks of 2011, but ended up making a big difference for the Giants down the stretch, including an interception in the Super Bowl.
He led the Giants in tackles in 2012, and received the game ball following the season-ending win over the Eagles.
Blackburn wants to return too, and is hoping for a multiyear deal. "I would definitely love that," Blackburn said. "Would love a little bit of stability. I hope I’ve played well enough to deserve that, I feel like I have."
Left guard Kevin Boothe, a seven-year vet who has been with the Giants the past six seasons, finally became a full-time starter in 2012.
"There’s nothing I can do about it," Boothe said, regarding his free agency. "I just have to wait and see how it all plays out. It’s a great organization and I’m happy with everything that’s gone on here and we’ll see how it all plays out."