Justin Tuck leaving Giants to sign with Raiders
The Giants told Justin Tuck he was free to explore free agency — and he more than took them up on their offer.
Tuck, who served as a defensive captain, has reportedly signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Raiders Thursday afternoon.
The 30-year-old defensive lineman was drafted by the Giants in the third round in 2005 and established himself as a force along the line no matter what position he played. Tuck was regularly shuffled back and forth between the end and inside positions — excelling at both.
The emergence of Tuck, alongside Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan, made the Giants one of the most-feared defenses in football.
The team rode their front four to a shocking upset of the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He memorably harassed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throughout the game. He was also a key contributor on the team’s next Super Bowl championship in 2011.
He had double-digit sacks in four seasons (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013) and finishes his Giants career with 60 1/2.
Tuck’s production dropped in 2012, and the rumors started to rumble about the Giants moving on from him. But he re-emerged last season with his best season in three years. He had 11 1/2 sacks in 2013 after just nine combined in 2011 and 2012.
The Giants reportedly offered him a good deal less than the Raiders ended up paying.
Oakland also hosted fellow Giants free agents cornerback Terrell Thomas and running back Andre Brown on Wednesday.
Follow New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.