At 52 years old, Michael Strahan has this physical status:
Strahan followed in the footsteps of his uncle Art, who also played defensive end at Texas Southern University. Strahan was so dominant he drew double teams, and TSU coaches dubbed Strahan double teaming "Strahan rules". By his junior season, Strahan began to turn himself into an NFL prospect. As a senior with the Texas Southern Tigers, Strahan was selected All-America first-team by The Poor Man's Guide to the NFL Draft, The Sheridan Network, Edd Hayes Black College Sports Report and the Associated Press. He recorded 68 tackles with a school-record 19 quarterback sacks and 32 tackles totaling 142 yards in losses. He was also selected Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year by The Poor Man's Guide and Edd Hayes Black College Sports Report. In 1992, he was named First-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the SWAC's Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He was also named Black College Defensive Player of the Year. As a junior in 1991, Strahan led the SWAC with 14.5 quarterback sacks. His 41.5 career sacks is a Texas Southern record. He was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Strahan was drafted by the New York Giants in 1993. He played in only six games due to injuries, and missed the Giants' two playoff games that season. After a few unremarkable seasons, Strahan had a breakout season in 1997, recording 14 sacks. He was voted into his first Pro Bowl and was also named First-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. In 1998, Strahan continued his success, racking up 15 sacks and being voted into his second Pro-Bowl and All-Pro team. In Week 8 of the 1999 season, Strahan returned an interception 44 yards for a game-winning overtime touchdown in a 23–17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Strahan was a member of the 2000 Giants and participated in their playoff run to Super Bowl XXXV. Despite coming off a strong NFC Championship Game, where the Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41–0, the Baltimore Ravens proved too strong for the Giants and they were handily defeated by a score of 34–7. In 2002, Strahan and the Giants negotiated on a new contract. He said the team failed to negotiate after he turned down its first contract proposal. He accused the front office of not trying to be competitive in 2002. Four days later, running back Tiki Barber ripped him for being selfish and greedy. The two had a heated phone conversation that night, and Strahan said they no longer speak. It also surfaced in the spring that the Giants explored trading Strahan, after which he suggested that management had orchestrated the contract flap to make him look bad. The team denied that.
Few defensive ends in the NFL were more dominant than Strahan from 1997 to 2005. He was named the 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was a two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year (in 2001 and 2003). Throughout the greater part of the 2004 season, Strahan was injured with a torn pectoral muscle, which limited him to only four sacks. He rebounded in 2005, returning to the Pro Bowl, with his protégé, Osi Umenyiora, as the two combined for 26 sacks while anchoring the Giants' defense. Strahan was considered by many coaches, peers, and experts as the standard, and best at his position during the prime of his career (1997–2005). He was also regarded as one of if not the best defensive end ever at defending the run, which made people and peers view him as a complete defensive end.
In the 2001 season, Strahan set the NFL record for sacks in a single season with 22.5, the highest tally since it was made an official statistic in 1982, breaking New York Jet Mark Gastineau's total of 22. In the final game of the season on January 6, 2002, with Strahan coming free, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre slid down and Strahan fell on top of Favre for an easy sack. After the play, during the ensuing celebration, many of the Giants' defensive players patted Favre on the helmet. At least one observer accused Favre of deliberately falling to ensure that Strahan would get the record. However, Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher claimed it was just a bad play and "we wanted to avoid that sack."
On October 23, 2006, with a sack on Drew Bledsoe in a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Strahan tied Lawrence Taylor for the Giants franchise record for most career sacks with 1321⁄2 (this total does not include 91⁄2 sacks accrued by Taylor in his rookie season of 1981, the year before sacks became an official NFL statistic). It was the last sack Strahan would get that season, as two weeks later he suffered a Lisfranc fracture against the Houston Texans and would miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
It seemed as though Strahan would retire after the 2006 season when he did not report to Giants training camp and missed the entire preseason, but the 14-year veteran opted to return for one final year. His 15th and final season proved to be the Giants' first championship since 1990. On September 30, 2007, he sacked Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football, increasing his career total to 133.5, setting a new franchise record. On Sunday, February 3, 2008, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Strahan had two tackles and one sack in Super Bowl XLII, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. Bolstered by a strong defense and unrelenting pass rush, the Giants went on to win the game 17–14, over the then-undefeated 18–0 New England Patriots, giving Strahan a Super Bowl win. His saying was "Stomp you out!"
On June 9, 2008, Strahan retired from the NFL.
Strahan retired with 141.5 career sacks (fifth all-time when he retired), 854 career tackles, four career interceptions, 24 forced fumbles and three career touchdowns in 200 games over a 15-year career (through the 2007 season). He was also named to the Pro Bowl roster seven times.
On February 2, 2013, Strahan failed to get voted into The Pro Football Hall of Fame; 2013 was his first year of eligibility.
Super Bowl XLVIII, played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was dedicated to Strahan upon his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Strahan performed the ceremonial coin toss, accompanied by the other members of that year's PFHOF class. Strahan also commented on the trophy presentation for Fox, since Terry Bradshaw (who had commented on the trophy presentations for Fox's previous Super Bowl broadcasts) was mourning the death of his father. On November 3, 2014, he was presented his Hall of Fame ring at halftime of the New York Giants-Indianapolis Colts game by the Giants. In attendance were 100 former Giants players as well as former teammates of Strahan's.
On November 28, 2021, the Giants retired his number 92 at halftime of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Associated Press first-team college-division All-American (1992)
- Edd Hayes' Black College Sports All-American (1992)
- NFL Single-Season Sack Record (22.5) (2001) (tied with T. J. Watt)
- AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2001)
- NFC Defensive Player of the Year (2001 & 2003)
- NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2014)
- Inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame (2014)
- Number 92 retired by the New York Giants (2021)