Timing is everything in business and life. And Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has some darn good timing. Tuck's nine sacks this season are as many as the past two years combined. It also increases the likelihood that the two-time Super Bowl winner gets paid big bucks this offseason when he hits the free-agent market, whether it's by the Giants or somebody else. "That's got to help him," said former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry. "Generally if you want to get paid, you better put pressure on the quarterback. Nobody really pays them to stop the run." That's the reality of the situation. Defensive ends get paid to rush the passer, which makes Tuck's situation unique. Tuck is a solid pass rusher on the verge of his fourth double-digit sacks season of his career. But he's also versatile (can be used on the interior of the defensive line) and is one of the league's best run-stuffing 4-3 defensive ends. Working against Tuck is his age and a strong free-agent class (Jared Allen, Greg Hardy, Brian Orakpo, Anthony Spencer, Michael Bennett). Tuck is also over the magical 30 marker. He'll be 31 just weeks after the start of free agency. "It's kind of a tricky market for those older pass rushers," Corry said. "Generally once you hit 30, unless you're a quarterback or offensive linemen, the league isn't very unforgiving about the age regardless of the productivity." That doesn't mean Tuck won't get paid. He just won't be getting another five-year, $32 million deal like he received in 2008. More likely, based on last year's free agents, he's destined for something significantly shorter.
Justin Tuck's value on free-agent market and what it will take for Giants to re-sign him
Newark Star-Ledger | Dec 20