Excerpt: "Justin Tuck is loving life as a Giant again, making his move in this contract year to stay in the only place he has known and wants to know. To stay a Giant. To retire a Giant.
No longer is the game not fun for him. No longer is he handicapped and handcuffed by one injury after the next, ravaged by self-doubt. No longer he is emotionally weighed down by the loss of loved ones. No longer does the fleeting thought of walking away from the game he loves again distract him from being the player he still knows he can be.
He is 30 years old now, married and a father of two boys, and he has seen so many of his former teammates come and go, the Ahmad Bradshaws, the Steve Smiths, the Chase Blackburns, the Chris Cantys, the Michael Boleys. It’s a great life, playing a kid’s game for millions, but it is also a cruel, bottom-line business without compassion.
In a quiet corner of the Giants locker room, a locker room he has known since 2005, Tuck is asked whether any part of him is trying to make a case there is no way the Giants can part with him.
“It’s every part of me trying to make a case for that,” Tuck told The Post. “If you ask me ‘Do I want to end my career as a Giant?’, that’s an obvious
‘Yes.’ But I also understand the business side of things, I also understand that I haven’t played my best football the last three years.
“Will it crush me to not be a Giant? I don’t think it’ll crush me, but … I want to be a New York Giant.”
Most importantly, the men who play alongside him want him to be a New York Giant.
“He’s the ultimate … perfect figure of what you want on a football team. If you’re going to start to build a team — like LeBron James — that’s the type of guy you want to start with,” Jon Beason said.
Beason, as perceptive as they come, is aware Tuck is on the last year of his contract.
“Got to bring him back … got to do something to bring him back,” Beason said. “I would love to see him back. I would love to be back, too.
“He is Big Blue, you know?”
Captain Rolle doesn’t want Captain Tuck going anywhere.
“He’s pretty much the type of guy that you want to have in your locker room, you want to have as a teammate,” Antrel Rolle said. “ Just playing alongside of him I think has been nothing less than phenomenal.”
Tuck is playing like he wants to show the club he still has plenty left.
“Well I hope they understand I got a lot of gas in the tank,” Tuck said.
“I got healthy, and was able to train the way I needed to train, and eating the right things. … I’m in a great place mentally in my life. I really don’t have any complaints.”
I ask him if he is playing as well as he has played in a while.
“I always tell people regardless of what they say about me, I’m my biggest critic, and right now I feel like I’m Mr. Almost,” Tuck said, and chuckled. “I got about 30 almost sacks this season. I feel good. I feel fast. I feel … I’m healthy for the first time in a long time. For me, man, it’s about just helping this team win, and I think the coaches understand that I’m willing to do whatever it takes, and that’s the biggest part.' Read more...