Justin Tuck has reportedly agreed to a 2 year, $11 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, a deal that the New York Giants, the only team that Tuck has ever played for, had a chance to match. I appreciate what Tuck has done with, and for, the Giants franchise but I’m glad Big Blue opted not to match that offer sheet.
Tuck was a fantastic player in his tenure as a Giant; he was a leader on and off the field and a player that seemed to truly embrace New York. At his best Tuck was a dominant edge pass rusher, but his best seems to be behind him. He racked up double digit sacks four times in his nine years in New York, including 11 last season in a resurgent year (Tuck had failed to more than 5 sacks in either of the previous two seasons).
Tuck’s 11 sacks lead the Giants last season, the third time in his career he lead the team in that category, but that does not mean the giants should have given a 30 year old edge rusher that does not show the same type of explosiveness he did as younger man the contract the Raiders offered.
The Giants will miss Tuck’s presence, but he is no longer worth $5.5 million a year, that money would be better served elsewhere.
He was a critical part of two Giants Super Bowl teams, and a beloved player; playing for another franchise will not tarnish his legacy to the Giants fan base, that is already cemented. He may have started in the shadow of another legendary Giants pass rusher, Michael Strahan, but has since forged his own place in Giants lore.
Tuck, the Notre Dame product and Giants third round selection in the 2005 draft, appeared in two Pro Bowls as a member of the Giants and was selected to the 2008 All-Pro first team.