FORMER GIANTS linebacker Harry Carson says he's not surprised by Junior Seau's tragic death, which has been ruled a suicide.

"When I heard it, I have to say in the past I would have been shocked," Carson told the New York Post. "But I'm not shocked anymore."

It's too early to tell if Seau's death is linked to postconcussion syndrome, but Carson would not be surprised if that's the case.

"I knew years ago that there would come a point in time where, whether it was transitioning to the game, or there would be guys having these neurological issues, that players were going to be committing suicide," said Carson, who has spoken out about his own battle with postconcussion syndrome and admitted that he has considered suicide. "Whether it's Dave Duerson, whether it's Andre Waters, whether it's Ray Easterling from 2 weeks ago, there are guys who are committing suicide.

"I knew how I felt as a player, having those thoughts of suicide, and you're going through something, and it's like you can't really explain what you're dealing with, and it's neurological. You have these deep bouts of depression, and people think you're depressed because you're not playing anymore. You're depressed because you're having neurological issues that are very difficult to describe."

Carson has written a book about his experiences, but is not a plantiff in the concussion lawfuit filed by former players.

"There were attorneys in New York who wanted me to be lead plaintiff," Carson said. "I opted not to. It's more about the way that I'm built as opposed to going after the NFL to get compensation."

It pays to play

Want to make serious money? Then forget college and go buy a set of darts, or a fishing rod, or a badminton raquet. Or even a deep fryer.

ESPN The Magazine published the results of a salary survey of the higest paid professional "athletes."

Among them were bass fisherman Kevin VanDam, who reeled in $706,500. Wang Yihan made $277,550 playing badminton. Phil Taylor scored $938,497 playing darts. Finally, there's professional eater Joey Chestnut of Wing Bowl fame. He took home $205,000 last year. n