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New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul: It’s up to Me to Carry Defense If Justin Tuck Leaves

January 30th, 2014 at 4:30 PM
By Dan Benton

'Jason Pierre-Paul' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Although defensive end Justin Tuck has already had contract talks with the New York Giants, it remains uncertain if he'll return in 2014. And, as Tuck told Giants 101 on Thursday, he has every intention on becoming a free agent and testing the open market.

In the event Tuck does sign elsewhere, the onus falls squarely on the shoulders (no pun intended) of Jason Pierre-Paul. And despite a poor few seasons, the young pass rusher feels he's up to the task; ready to carry Big Blue if need be.

“It’s on me to carry New York on my back on the defense [if Tuck leaves],” Pierre-Paul said on Thursday. “At the end of the day, it’s a business. Who knows what Tuck’s going to do. I’m proud of him either way he goes, whichever route."

The issue with JPP, as it's often been, is health. Now a year removed from surgery repair a herniated disk in neck, JPP is facing another offseason of rehab. This time, on a sprained MCL and a lingering shoulder injury that caused him to miss five games this past season.

But, the good news for both the Giants and JPP is that he may avoid another offseason surgery — this time on this shoulder — and feels about 90%.

“I’m on the verge of breaking out again and being the old me. I’m going to see [the] doctors again and see what they say, but right now I’m feeling good. I think I’m healthy, I’m about 90 percent healthy. Before the season, I should be even healthier," he said.

In 11 games this past season, JPP recorded 27 tackles and two, as well as an incredible interception returned for a touchdown — a play that won him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

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Tags: Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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5 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul: It’s up to Me to Carry Defense If Justin Tuck Leaves”

  1.  Krow says:

    Remember when Tuck was waxing on about retiring to his boyhood home in Alabama? Now it’s all “I want to get paid”. So funny to see how people change once they smell money.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    I’ll be surprised if Tuck is back. He still has value for both his play and leadership, but I don’t see the Giants paying more than about $3.0-3.5MM for his services and someone will pay more. It’s time for Moore to play anyway. He, JPP and Kiwi can still play and Jenkins will fill in. And they may draft another pass-rusher or make use of Trattou. I like Tuck, but there are better uses of the cap than overpaying him. If they’re going to overpay anyone it should be Beason, Joseph and Nicks (yeah, I know, no one wants Nicks anymore, but watch the guy excel for the next 6-7 years and then remember that you were “happy” to see him gone).

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Personally I have always felt much of memorabilia was fake. Unless it’s something actually taken off in front of you how do you really know?

    JPP’s comment makes me think that maybe losing Tuck is worth it because it will force JPP to step up. Maybe he’s deferring to Tuck in someways or just relying on him too much. Sometimes you need to let a vet go for a younger guy to feel comfortable enough to step into a leadership role. It might be kind of like what happened Eli and Tiki/Shockey. Though Tuck is a positive type of guy JPP might need him to go to really step up. We all know it should be on JPP’s back if Tuck stays or not so there’s an issue if JPP doesn’t feel the same.

    •  Krow says:

      In this … the salary cap era … every team is vulnerable to losing key players if someone is willing to overpay for them. Usually there are a few desperate teams grasping at straws … and a couple more teams who are solid, but figure they’re “one player away”. If they target your guy then it’s over … he’s gone … and you can’t really blame them.

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