Benched Giants linebacker Tae Crowder said he meant the opposite of everything he wrote in the uproar.
After not playing defensive end against the Chiefs on Sunday, Crowder posted “#FreeMe” on his Twitter account. The news was widely interpreted as the disgruntled former starter asking to be released in the middle of the playoff race.
“I didn’t think much of it,” Crowder said. “I saw a lot of fans talking about going out, but I’m for my team. I’m a team-first player and I want to do everything I can to help my team win.”
Head coach Brian Daboll said he would review Crowder’s “private conversations” and cornerback Rodarius Williams’ tweet in “private conversations.” That led to Crowder addressing the locker room.
“I apologized to all of my teammates because I never want to be a cause for the program. I never want to be a distraction,” Crowder said. “All my teammates know I’m not that kind of guy.”
Crowder played every defensive snap in three of the first four games and still received the lion’s share of snaps in the middle linebacker through Week 8. The Giants switched inside linebackers to move Jaylon Smith to center and beat rookie McFadden ahead of Crowder.
“I’m a guy who likes to compete and I haven’t pitched like I used to,” Crowder said, “and it’s disappointing.”