Justin Tuck: Potential Jets

Nick Laham

Justin Tuck has spent his entire nine year career playing with the Giants. The two-time All Pro and two time Super Bowl Champion is set to become a free agent.

Tuck had been plagued by injuries the last few years, but he stayed healthy in 2013, playing all 16 games. He responded with his best year since 2010, registering 11 sacks. Sometimes sacks don't tell the whole story. The sacks might be the only impact you make. According to Pro Football Focus, Tuck also had 12 hits and 44 pressures. He rates in the top ten in the NFL among edge rushers in terms of total disruptions (sacks+hits+hurries).

Another thing that sticks out about Tuck is his versatility. I think he's a pretty good run defender. He seems to have a number of different pass rushing moves. He also has moved all over the defensive line, playing inside and outside in four man fronts.

One thing people will comment about Tuck is he hasn't played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Rex Ryan's defense is not a pure 3-4, however. The Jets constantly change their looks and frequently play four man fronts. Rex can adapt the fronts based on the players he has. Tuck probably would get spot duty if the Jets signed him rushing from a standing up position, but the Jets could use four man fronts when he was in the game to make him comfortable. The Jets already have a number of young pass rushers who can line up and have success at different spots along the defensive line. Adding Tuck could expand what the Jets could show up front.

Tuck's cap number over the past five years has averaged just under $6 million per year according to OverTheCap.com. Considering he will be 31 years old and had been injury-prone prior to 2013, I wouldn't like to see the Jets spend that kind of money on him. I think the Jets would have to look for a deal that would pay him less, and go in another direction if that did not do the trick. I also think the Jets would have to limit either the years or the guaranteed money so they would not be tied to him if things went south.

If Tuck is allowed to hit the market, however, I think the Jets would be wise to at least see whether his demands would fit. Having Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson push the pocket would leave him with a lot of one on one matchups on the outside and could help him stay very productive for the next few years as well as give the Jets the edge rusher they need. The Jets also have an advantage no team other than the Giants could give him. Tuck wouldn't have to uproot himself.

What do you think? Should the Jets look into Tuck? If so, what kind of contract would you give him? Tell us below.

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