On this date in football, June 14, 1994, the New York Giants released Phil Simms. Drafted 7th overall in 1979, Simms endured injuries and withering criticism early in his career but by the mid-1980s was entrenched as Bill Parcells’ starting quarterback. Among all the accomplishments of his 14-year career, Simms enjoys one distinction about which every athlete dreams: in the biggest game of his career he produced his single greatest performance. It came in Super Bowl XXI, when Simms set a Super Bowl record for accuracy by completing 22-of-25 passes. He threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns in an MVP performance, helping the Giants secure their first world championship in three decades.
In 1990, Simms led the Giants to an 11-3 start that would help propel them to another Super Bowl win – though one he’d have to celebrate on crutches, after a broken foot in December sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. The final game of Simms’ career – as well as his long-time teammate Lawrence Taylor’s — was a 44-3 loss to San Francisco in the 1993 NFC Divisional Playoffs. After that season, 18 years ago today, New York released Simms on what owner Wellington Mara called, “a day of overwhelming sadness.”
Here’s a look back at Simms’ last season from “Blue Diamond: Seventy-five Years of Giants Football”: