For months, Justin Tuck has been practically campaigning for the Giants to bring back Plaxico Burress.
On the Ian O’Connor show on ESPN New York 1050, Tuck said he’s happy for Burress but disappointed the Giants couldn’t land the wide receiver.
“It’s disappointing but for Plaxico it is a great opportunity for him to get back to playing football,” Tuck said. “I’ve always said that in this whole situation. I definitely wanted what’s best for him. Obviously you want a guy like that on your football team but you are also glad he is getting another shot, a second chance, to do what he wants to do. Give the Jets credit. For the Giants, for us, it is moving forward now.”
Tom Coughlin indicated that the Giants did make an offer to Burress and that the wide receiver knew of the Giants’ financial parameters.
According to the New York Post, the Giants offered Burress a one-year, $4 million deal. However, unlike the Jets’ fully-guaranteed deal of $3.017 million, the Giants offered $1 million in salary but no signing bonus. According to the Post, Burress would make $500,000 if he was active for every game and could earn $2.5 million in performance bonuses.
Tuck was asked if it at least was comforting to know that Burress didn’t go to a team like the Eagles. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter said on Sunday morning that the Jets were told that Burress would sign with a team, thought to be the Eagles, if they met a certain price.
The Jets asked if they matched that price would they land Burress. And they got their answer.
“Obviously on paper, yeah, it looks like it would be better if he is going to go to a green team, go to the one in New York City than to the one in Philadelphia,” Tuck said. “But we do play the New York Jets this year and for me personally it doesn’t really matter.”
“Unfortunately, Plaxico is not on our team and will be an opponent. Whoever he plays for when we play him, we will be trying our best to stop him.”
The Jets and Giants play each other on Christmas Eve. So now that Burress is playing for Rex Ryan, the Giants still await word from their own free agents. They are trying to re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss. All three, no matter when they sign, cannot begin practicing on a field until Aug. 4 due to the transition rules. And in Smith's case, he likely won't practice right away since he is making his way back from microfracture knee surgery. So those three may not make a decision until later this week perhaps.
Despite the fact that the Giants have yet to make a flashy free agent acquisition, Tuck says the Giants like their situation.
“We still need to try our best to get our free agents, like a Boss, Steve Smith, Osi (Umenyiora, who wants a new contract) and Ahmad,” Tuck said. “But no one really gave us a shot the year we won the Super Bowl. We like the situation. We really do.”
“We feed off of it,” he continued. “I think we play better when we are backed into a corner. We like kind of being under the radar. You give the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jets credit. They got players they felt they needed. We will see what happens.”