JUSTIN TUCK SAYS "FLASHY" FREE AGENT MOVES NOT GIANTS' WAY
"Justin Tuck knows the deal; with so many unsigned players, the extended Super
Bowl run and considerable salary cap restrictions, the Giants probably will not
be making a ton of headlines this time of year.
“A lot of people don’t try to think about it until the end of the year, but
I’ve been around long enough to understand both sides of the game,’’ Tuck said
Tuesday morning on WFAN. “I kind of knew it would be kind of hectic going into
this, especially where the cap is this year. I think [general manager] Jerry
Reese has done some things to hopefully put us in position to at least make a
play on some guys. We feel very confident, as we always do. Jerry and his staff
will help us put together a team that’s going to win football games, and that’s
all you can ask for.’’
The Giants a year ago didn’t exactly break down the doors once NFL free
agency began, re-signing some of their own players, Ahmad Bradshaw and Kevin
Boothe, and going outside the organization with the signings of punter Steve
Weatherford and center David Baas. The Giants made bigger news with players they
did not re-sign, Steve Smith and Kevin Boss, and took searing heat for seemingly
not holding serve as the Eagles signed what seemed to be a collection of
Tucks recalls that as well.
“We don’t really go for all the flashy moves, we go for the moves that we
think will put us in position to win football games,’’ he said. “I know a lot of
people got on Jerry for that but you never heard anybody in this locker room,
anybody around the Giants staff say ‘We should have done more.’ We feel very
confident with who we have.’’
The free agency signing period kicks off Tuesday at 4 p.m. and the Giants
have 19 of their own unrestricted free agents, with receiver Mario Manningham
the player most likely to leave. The Giants see Manningham as a talented No. 3
receiver, and Manningham sees himself at a starter and expects to attract
interest from teams who view him as he does.
“It is an exciting time but also it’s a nervous time too,’’ Tuck said. “We
got a few guys who will test the free agency market and as a teammate, I’ve been
with Mario his entire career, been with some of those other guys their entire
careers, I hope we can find a way to get him back but you understand both sides
"You understand the business side of it too, he’s coming off a pretty good
year and obviously a memorable Super Bowl, so he’s hot right now. You just want
what’s best for him in that situation. I could easily be selfish right here and
go ‘He needs to come back, we can win another one.’ At the end of the day you
just want what’s best for him and his family.’’
Tuck also said he’s recovering from offseason shoulder surgery to fix a
problem that severely limited him this past season.
“My shoulder feels a lot better than it did during the season, I’ll say that
much,’’ Tuck said. “Went down to Dr. [James] Andrews [in Birmingham, Ala.] and
he cleaned it out for me, I’m pretty much back to being full strength.’’
Tuck estimated he played at about 60 percent efficiency as a result of the
shoulder injury. He said he played a few games wearing a protective harness.
“But I didn’t in others just because of the fact I felt the harness really,
the limited mobility I did have it limited that,’’ he said."