It came as a surprise to no one when Justin Tuck’s long tenure with the Giants ended this offseason.
No one, except the man behind the terrifying facemask.
“To answer your question, I am still surprised I’m not a New York Giant,” Tuck told the Star-Ledger.
The veteran defensive end signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Raiders, and gave Big Blue an opportunity to match. The Giants declined, reportedly offering him around half — a “disrespectful” gesture, he said at the time.
That Tuck, a two-time Pro Bowler, switched allegiances at such a cost irked fans in New York. He’s heard the outcries, but reminds that the NFL, first and foremost, is a business.
“The only thing weird is when you see Giants fans who have a tendency to tell you how stupid [the team] is,” Tuck said. “Those are their words, not mine. But yeah, it was weird. You spend nine years in one place. You have a lot of success there and a lot of great friends. So yeah, it’s going to be weird but I understand the business side of things and you need to move forward.”
Tuck salvaged an otherwise forgettable 2013 campaign, recording 9.5 sacks over the final six games to give him a walking start into free agency. Now 31, he isn’t the same player as in years past, and clearly prioritized his earning potential. Tuck could have easily taken less to remain with the Giants — a contender, unlike Oakland — but opted against a home team discount.
After making his proverbial bed, it’s time to lie in it. He should take his own advice: Move on.
(Photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)