Osi Umenyiora saw his time with the New York Giants come to a close after some stellar years and Super Bowl championships. Unless some changes happen soon, his former teammate Justin Tuck is in line for the same. Can he rescue his roster spot or will the former All-Pro be looking for a new home in 2014 NFL free agency?
Damontre Moore addition puts the pressure on Tuck
Stockpiling pass rushers is a business the New York Giants have perfected over the past decade. They had Justin Tuck ready for when Michael Strahan retired. When Osi Umenyiora started getting vocal about his contract, the team brought in Jason Pierre-Paul. It seems they’re preparing yet again, this time for Tuck himself. The two-time Pro Bowler is at a career crossroads. After posting 11.5 sacks in 2010, he has since had 9 combined over the past two seasons while also missing five games with injuries. Despite his leadership value he hasn’t played like a man deserving of a new contract. So when New York drafted promising defensive end Damontre Moore out of Texas A&M, people couldn’t help but feel it was a clear message to Tuck. Either he plays better or he leaves. At 30-years old he doesn’t have the luxury of time. Tuck needs a good 2013 to stay in Giants blue. Otherwise he must finish his career somewhere else.
Broncos applying Von Miller and Shaun Phillips out of position
Luckily he may have an avenue of escape should that happen. The Denver Broncos had a rough off-season after losing Elvis Dumervil to the infamous “Faxgate.” They quickly signed veteran pass rusher Shaun Phillips to join Von Miller on the defensive front. What is peculiar about the Broncos is they run a base 4-3 defense featuring two defensive ends and two defensive tackles. Miller has played strong side linebacker in that system since 2011 while Phillips is slated to simply back him up there. Their body types weren’t meant to fit a traditional defensive end, nor did Dumervil though he made the transition well. In fact none of the defensive ends brought in by John Elway since then have worked out very well. Only rookie Derek Wolfe managed more than five sacks last season. Either way Denver has fallen behind on bringing in more players that fit their scheme. This is why Justin Tuck makes sense. His best seasons came in a base 4-3 and he will want to stay in it if he does end up leaving New York. Bringing him in would take pressure off the linebackers to blitz so much like they’ve done. Head coach John Fox loves defense, which means it is as good a fit as Tuck will find next year. The key of course will be price.