A day after signing a two-year, $11 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, Justin Tuck told the New York Daily News that the New York Giants never came up from an initial offer of two years and less than $6 million. Per Ralph Vacchiano:
But the offer he got from the Giants "was pretty much disrespectful to be honest with you" - approximately half of the two-year, $11 million deal he eventually signed.
"They wouldn't have had to match it," Tuck said. "You know, at the beginning of free agency I'm going in thinking I'm not looking for a lot. I understand the Giants have a lot of holes to fill. If they were trying to sign me before free agency hit, or at least were trying to communicate with us, then I probably would've took somewhere around a two-year deal, $8 million, somewhere around there.
"But it wasn't even like that. It was like they weren't even trying to get me back. That made my mind up for me."
Tuck told Ralph he called the Giants on Thursday to tell them of the Raiders' offer, but that his agent called him back soon thereafter to tell him the Giants hadn't upped their offer at all.
That, Tuck told the Daily News, "made up my mind for me" and left him feeling like the Giants "didn't really want me at all."
This basically jibes with everything we heard and discussed Thursday. The Giants, who are trying to make their roster younger this offseason, decided to move on from the 30-year-old Tuck after nine years and two Super Bowl titles. Tuck's a smart and pragmatic guy who understands the business end of things and said he wouldn't have any hard feelings.
"Like I said, I'm not bitter," he said. "I still love that organization and have a lot of respect for the people that work there. I still consider myself lucky that I've been able to be here for nine years."
But for now, the emotions are raw and the wound is still open, and he's looking forward to proving to the Giants that their decision to let him go was wrong.
"I plan on having a pretty damn awesome year next year to be honest with you," he said. "I appreciate the Giants for giving me a lot more motivation for next season."
As long as he's not playing against them, the Giants surely hope that Tuck does indeed have an awesome year. Letting him walk out of the door doesn't indicate a lack of appreciation for what he did there -- just an organizational decision to look forward instead of back.