One year after leaving the New York Giants as a free agent, Osi Umenyiora has advice for Justin Tuck as he gets set to hit free agency: Don't go anywhere! In town working radio row and promoting 1-800-FLOWERS.com for a special Valentine's Day, Umenyiora, now with the Atlanta Falcons, made it abundantly clear what he believes Tuck should do when his contract runs out next week. "I've talked to Justin and I told him he should try whatever he can to stay in New York," Umenyiora said. "Because he is New York." Umenyiora has a point, except that Tuck lives and plays in New Jersey. Tuck fits like a glove in the Giants' locker room and thrives under the bright lights of the big city. How many good, not great, defensive ends are national spokesmen for Subway? And have endorsement deals with behemoths like Nike and EA Sports? It seems like a perfect marriage for both parties. Justin Tuck really likes being a part of the New York Giants. The Giants really like Justin Tuck. It’s all so obvious. “[General manager] Jerry Reese, I’m quite sure is going to try and do something to take care of the situation as the management should because he’s been a great player and he’s been a great, solid individual for New York,” Umenyiora said. “Why not try and take care of a guy like that?” It didn’t quite work out that way for Umenyiora. He left the Giants last offseason after nine successful yet sometimes contentious years. Even free agency was not all it was billed up to be. Umenyiora sat and waited for almost a month until hooking on with the Falcons, but only on a two-year deal. “It was rough. I had to sit there for a while. It was rough for a lot of free agents,” Umenyiora said. “I told [Tuck].” Umenyiora serves as evidence that free agency is not always all its cracked up to be. In all likelihood, Tuck will hit the free agent market. “Justin and I have talked a little bit about it. I think guys deserve to go out and see what the market is when you reach free agency,” Reese said. “It’s hard to reach free agency. When you have a chance to get there, you deserve to see what the market is. He deserves to see what the market is.” The market could depend on what happens to players like Carolina’s Greg Hardy, Cincinnati’s Michael Johnson, Minnesota’s Jared Allen and Washington’s Brian Orakpo. Umenyiora doesn’t think most of them will make it to free agency. Most of the top pass rushers will either be slapped with the franchise tag or sign new deals before hitting the open market.
Osi Umenyiora: I told Justin Tuck he should stay with Giants
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 1