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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