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.
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