Before the Week 12 matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, defensive end Justin Tuck was making life a little easy for general manager Jerry Reese. It didn’t appear the Giants would be tempted to re-sign him this upcoming offseason. Tuck had registered just 1.5 sacks in the team’s first 10 games after only getting nine total sacks in the previous two seasons.
However, in the past four games alone, Tuck has a sack in each game and has registered a total of 7.5 sacks. Tuck now has nine sacks on the season with two games remaining. He could very well have a double-digit sack season and could surpass his career-high total of 12 sacks if he has a flurry of sacks like he did against the Washington Redskins a couple of games ago. If Tuck does have a double-digit sack season, what do the Giants do with him this offseason?
There still isn’t any guarantee the Giants will bring him back despite a productive season. It depends on their intentions with young players like wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. If the Giants are looking to find cap space to sign those two to long-term deals, then Tuck, who will be 31 years old in March, will most likely be on the way to another team.
However, it isn’t a sure thing the Giants would want to commit long term to those two. Nicks has had a very unproductive season and only has 50 catches and hasn’t scored a touchdown. Pierre-Paul has only registered two sacks in 11 games played while going through various injuries. This doesn’t mean both of them will never be productive going forward. However, Reese has to think about paying players who may have regressed.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of money Tuck is looking for. If he wants to stay with the Giants, he’ll allow the Giants to sign him to a cap-friendly deal. If not, he’ll be playing elsewhere next year.