American Football Database
American Football Database
Kenny Phillips
Phillips with the New York Giants
No. 21, 30     
Free safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-11-24) November 24, 1986 (age 34)
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
Career information
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 31
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* New York Giants ( 2008 2012)
Career highlights and awards
* USA Today Defensive High School Player of the Year (2004)
Total tackles     275
Forced fumbles     1
Fumble recoveries     3
Pass deflections     26
Interceptions     8
Stats at

Kenneth Phillips (born November 24, 1986) is a former American football safety. He was drafted by the New York Giants 31st overall in the 2008 NFL Draft and won Super Bowl XLVI with the team. He played college football at the University of Miami. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.

Early years

Phillips attended Miami Carol City Senior High in Miami, Florida, where he played safety. As a senior in 2004, played free safety and finished with 84 tackles, six interceptions, three fumble recoveries, four defensive touchdowns and three punt returns for touchdowns. Phillips intercepted 16 passes during his high school career. He also played in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

In 2004, Phillips was the nation's top safety prospect and USA Today Defensive Player of the Year. Phillips was a Parade All-American and was selected to the PrepStar Top 100 Dream Team. He was rated the nation's No. 1 safety prospect by leading college recruiting magazines Rivals and Scout and the No. 12 and No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals and Scout respectively. He was considered the No. 1 prospect in Dade County by The Miami Herald and the No. 1 prospect in the state by the Orlando Sentinel.

College career

Phillips chose to attend the University of Miami over Tennessee, Florida State and North Carolina State.

In his freshman year, Phillips was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team after starting 11 games at free safety. He ranked third on the team with 67 tackles (40 solo), recovered two fumbles, broke up four passes and recorded one interception. Phillips interception came against the Clemson Tigers in triple overtime and sealed the win for the Hurricanes.[1]

As a sophomore, Phillips was named to the All-ACC 1st Team and 2nd team All-American by He started 10 games out of 10 at strong safety, missing only three games due to a torn ACL. He ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 54 total, broke up 6 passes, and recorded 4 interceptions. Phillips earned "ACC Defensive Back of the Week" honors for his play against Duke in which he tied a University of Miami record with three interceptions in one game.[2]

Phillips was also named to the 2006 All-ACC Academic Football Team. [3]

As a junior, Phillips was named to the All-ACC 1st Team for a second straight year, and 2nd team All-American for a second straight year.[4] He started 12 games out of 12 at safety. Phillips ranked second on the team with a career-high 83 tackles(54 solo), made 6.5 tackles for loss, forced three fumbles, broke up 5 passes, and intercepted 2 passes.

After the season, Phillips declared for the NFL draft.

Professional career

2008 NFL Draft

Phillips was drafted in the first round (31st overall) by the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL Draft.[5][6] Many experts claimed there were no safeties in the draft worth a 1st-round pick, aside from Phillips; as expected, he was the only safety drafted in the 1st-round. His selection also continued the remarkable streak of University of Miami safeties selected in the 1st-round, the last being Brandon Meriweather, who was selected 24th overall by the New England Patriots in 2007. Prior to the draft, The Sporting News compared Phillips to Deon Grant.[7]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2¼ in 212 lb 4.48 s 1.47 s 2.53 s 4.27 s 6.97 s 32½ in 10 ft 1 in 19 rep

New York Giants

Phillips was expected to compete for the vacant free safety position left by Gibril Wilson, who left for free agency to the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 offseason. Phillips stated his goals with the Giants in his first season are to "come in, learn and try to make a statement."[6] Entering mini-camp, Phillips chose to wear the number 21 as a tribute to the late Sean Taylor, who, like Phillips, played safety at the University of Miami and wore the number 21 when he played for the Washington Redskins.[6] [9] On July 22, Phillips agreed to a five-year contract worth up to $11.15 million.

At the end of the 2008 preseason, Phillips was slated at the #2 spot on the depth chart at the free safety position behind Michael Johnson.

While not a starter, Phillips split time at the free safety position with Johnson and also played on special teams. He made the first interception of his career in week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming with only minutes left in the 4th quarter, sealing a 21-14 victory for the Giants. Phillips got his first start of the season against the Eagles while James Butler was out with an injury. He remained the starter when Butler returned from his injury. As the season continued, Phillips' play showed marked improvement.

As no University of Miami player was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Kenny Phillips' selection in 2008 marks the end of a fourteen-year streak during which at least one Miami Hurricane football player was taken each year. In 2015, for the first time since Phillips in 2008, a Miami Hurricane, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, was taken in the first round.[10]

On September 24, Phillips was placed on injured reserve with an "unhealthy left knee".[11] Phillips was diagnosed with patellofemoral arthritis in his left knee before the season, and the condition worsened through the first two games of the 2009 season. Following microfracture surgery, it is unclear whether Phillips will be able to return to the level of play he exhibited before the injury.[12]

Microfracture surgery has so far been seen as a success by doctors and Phillips himself.[13] Phillips believed he would be ready for week one of the 2010 season for the Giants opener against the Carolina Panthers.[14] If Phillips was not ready to go at the beginning of the season, he would be replaced by former Seattle Seahawk Deon Grant.[15] Once ready to play, Phillips would team up with fellow Miami Hurricane Antrel Rolle in the Giants backfield for the first time. On September 12, Phillips made his long-awaited return to the Giants as a starter alongside Rolle in the Giants' season opener against the Carolina Panthers. He managed to intercept a pass from Panthers quarterback Matt Moore in the Giants' 31-18 victory.

For the 2011 regular season, Phillips recorded personal career-high statistics in three defensive categories: interceptions (4), pass deflections (11), and tackles (82).

At the end of the 2011 season, Phillips and the Giants appeared in Super Bowl XLVI. He started in the game as the Giants defeated the New England Patriots by a score of 21–17.[16]

Philadelphia Eagles

Phillips signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 14, 2013.[17] On August 25, 2013, Phillips was released by the Eagles.[18]

New Orleans Saints

On December 31, 2014, Phillips signed a reserve/future contract with the New Orleans Saints.[19] On September 6, 2015, Phillips was released by the Saints.[20] He re-signed on September 14, 2015, due to the loss of teammate, Rafael Bush to a season-ending injury in a 31–19 loss against the Arizona Cardinals. Phillips made his first appearance on September 20, 2015, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his first NFL game since 2012.[21] The Saints released him on October 6.[22]


Phillips announced his retirement on July 6, 2016, citing injuries as the reason for his retirement.[23]


Source: [1]

Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Year Team G GS Total Solo Sck Sfty Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2008 NYG 16 3 67 55 0 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2009 NYG 2 2 13 9 0 0 2 22 11.0 22 0 0 0
2010 NYG 16 16 77 60 0 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2011 NYG 15 15 82 59 0 0 4 50 12.5 31 0 1 0
Total 49 36 239 183 0 0 8 72 9.0 31 0 1 0


  1. College Football - Phillips seals Miami's first win
  2. Kenny Phillips Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week :: Kenny Phillips tied a school record with three interceptions against Duke this past weekend
  3. 2006 All-ACC Academic Football Team Announced :: League recognizes 37 student-athletes including nine all-conference players
  4. Kenny Phillips Named All-ACC First Team :: Two Other Players Receive Honors
  5. "SI Grade". CNN.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Schwartz, Paul (May 9, 2008). "Jints Get Feeling Of Safety With Rookie". New York Post.
  7. - Pro Football War Room: Kenny Phillips
  8. 2008 NFL Combine Results - Defensive Players
  9. "Giants' first-rounder Kenny Phillips embraces Sean Taylor's number, spirit". Daily News (New York). May 10, 2008.
  11. Phillips put on IR with knee injury
  15. .
  16. "Super Bowl XLVI - New York Giants vs. New England Patriots - February 5th, 2012" (in en).
  17. Eagles Add CB Williams, S Phillips
  18. McPherson, Chris (August 25, 2013). "Jamar Chaney Among Initial Cuts". Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  20. "New Orleans Saints announce practice squad moves, waiver claims". September 6, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  22. Alper, Josh (October 6, 2015). "Report: Saints to release Kenny Phillips". Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  23. Dabe, Christopher (July 6, 2016). "Former Saints safety Kenny Phillips says football became too painful to play, website reports". Retrieved August 11, 2016.

External links