Justin Tuck

Latest On Franchise-Tagged Players

Barring an unlikely change in momentum, extensions are not expected to be reached for franchise-tagged players Kirk Cousins, Eric Berry, Alshon Jeffery, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Trumaine Johnson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Schefter’s latest word echoes other reports on these five players, but two names are conspicuously absent from this list: Von Miller and Justin Tucker. It’s not clear if the Broncos and Ravens are on the cusp of deals with their respective franchise-tagged stars, but their odds of reaching deals could be looking better than the rest of the pack at this time.

[RELATED: Download The Must-Have Trade Rumors App Today!]

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver BroncosAs Mike Florio of PFT notes, things have been eerily quiet when it comes to Miller and the Broncos, which could be an indication that talks are moving along behind the scenes. In recent weeks, the acrimony between the two sides has been leaking out to the press, so this recent lack of news could be taken as good news when it comes to these contract talks.

The Broncos could theoretically trade Miller if they are unable to reach a long-term deal with him in the next day or so, but the team is focused only on retaining him. Meanwhile, Miller’s threat to sit out the 2016 season reportedly remains “very real” and several teammates believe that he will spend the year at home if he does not get his way. Late last week, the Broncos improved their offer to Miller, giving him more in the way of guarantees and better cashflow in the early part of the deal. Those are the key issues left to resolve as the two sides have largely agreed on the framework of a six-year, $114.5MM deal.

As the Ravens franchise player, Tucker will make $4.572MM this year if he and the team don’t agree to a new contract by tomorrow’s deadline. Some believe that the two sides haven’t struck a deal yet because Tucker is likely looking to eclipse the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski as the NFL’s highest-paid kicker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Jets, Giants, Tuck, Davis, Bills

Three Jets players tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) that there are concerns in the locker room regarding the state of the quarterback depth chart. After the draft, coach Todd Bowles declared that Geno Smith will be the team’s starting quarterback and there isn’t much faith in him amongst Jets players. Meanwhile, rookie Christian Hackenberg doesn’t offer strong fundamentals and Bryce Petty‘s time at Baylor didn’t give him real experience in a pro-style offense.

While Jets players believe that the defense can help carry the team into contention, they still would like to see a veteran quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Sam Bradford at the helm, says Cole.

Let’s check in on a few other items from around the NFL’s East divisions…

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Justin Tuck Announces Retirement

FEBRUARY 11: During an appearance on Big Blue Kickoff Live, Tuck said he plans to sign a one-day contract to retire as a Giant, tweets Lance Medow of the Giants’ Radio Network.

FEBRUARY 1: After playing 11 NFL seasons, veteran defensive end Justin Tuck has decided to call it a career, according to Mike Garafaolo of FOX Sports, who reports that Tuck will be retiring. The 32-year-old confirmed his decision on Facebook, and in comments to Garafolo.Justin Tuck

“It’s been like a tug of war, and finally the rope broke,” Tuck said of his decision on whether or not to end his playing career. “And where I fell was retirement.”

Tuck’s final NFL season in 2015 was cut short due a torn right pectoral muscle, which landed him on the injured reserve list last October. Unlike Ravens wideout Steve Smith, who reconsidered his plan to retire once he suffered a season-ending surgery, Tuck isn’t determined to play one more healthy season before moving on to the next stage of his career — even though he thinks he’s capable of doing it.

“Physically, I feel like I can play with the best of them,” Tuck said. “It’s hilarious I got hurt on the most fluky play ever, but it’s part of it and maybe that was God trying to tell me something. I’m looking forward to being able to do something else.”

A third-round pick back in 2005, Tuck didn’t play much for the Giants during his first two seasons, but racked up 10 sacks as a part-time player in 2007, and then earned All-Pro honors in 2008, when he recorded 12 sacks and three forced fumbles. The Notre Dame product, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, contributing to a pass rush that helped limit Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense during those games, spent nine years in New York before spending the last two with the Raiders.

For his career, Tuck appeared in 147 total regular-season games, including 127 for the Giants. He totaled 66.5 career sacks, getting into double-digits in four separate seasons, including his final year with the Giants in 2013. The two-time Pro Bowler also picked up 5.5 sacks in the postseason, with four of those sacks coming in Super Bowls against the Pats.

Despite enjoying his time in Oakland, Tuck, who would have been a free agent this offseason, admitted that a return to the Giants might have been the only scenario in which he continued his career in 2016. However, the Giants made his decision easier when they made a coaching change at season’s end.

“If Coach (Tom) Coughlin would’ve come back another year, I probably would’ve (considered) coming back,” Tuck told Garafolo. “I didn’t even venture down that road. I think I would’ve given a lot of consideration to it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Place Justin Tuck On IR

The Raiders are expected to place defensive end Justin Tuck on season-ending injured reserve with a torn right pectoral muscle, a source tells Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. Tuck suffered in the injury trying to tackle running back C.J. Anderson in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos. Tuck will have surgery in the next few days, according to Bair.

Tuck signed a two-year, $11MM deal with Oakland prior to the 2014 season. In his first year in silver and black, Tuck racked up 43 tackles and 5.0 sacks in 15 games (12 starts). Thus far in 2015, Tuck hasn’t put up those same kinds of numbers, registering only seven tackles and 5.0 sacks through five games. However, as a starter at defensive end, Tuck was being counted on as a key member of the Raiders’ front seven.

In his final season with the Giants, Tuck racked up 11 sacks and forcing a pair of fumbles. He also received an impressive grade as a run-stopper in that campaign, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which placed him seventh among 52 qualified 4-3 defensive ends last season.

Rookie second-round pick Mario Edwards Jr. will replace Tuck in the starting lineup.

Raiders’ Justin Tuck Could Be Done For Season

The Raiders fear that veteran defensive lineman Justin Tuck has torn a pectoral muscle, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Tuck will miss several games and quite possibly the season.

Tuck signed a two-year, $11MM deal with Oakland prior to the 2014 season. In his first year in silver and black, Tuck racked up 43 tackles and 5.0 sacks in 15 games (12 starts). Thus far in 2015, Tuck hasn’t put up those same kinds of numbers, registering only seven tackles and 5.0 sacks through five games. However, as a starter at defensive end, Tuck was being counted on as a key member of the Raiders’ front seven.

In his final season with the Giants, Tuck racked up 11 sacks and forcing a pair of fumbles. He also received an impressive grade as a run-stopper in that campaign, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which placed him seventh among 52 qualified 4-3 defensive ends last season.

AFC East Links: Patriots, Idzik, Orton

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas was acquired by the Patriots earlier this week, and the 27-year-old is doing everything in his power to play this weekend. It isn’t easy switching teams midseason, and the six-year veteran realizes that he has a lot of catching up to do (via Lee Schechter of ESPNBoston.com):

“I feel like I’m cramming for a final in college,” Casillas said. “I’m happy to be here and blessed to have this opportunity to play for a great organization.

“This is my fourth [defensive] coordinator in four years since Gregg [Williams], so five [defensive] coordinators in five years, and that’s the tough part — learning all of these different defensive schemes — not really transitioning city to city because a city is a city. I can get acclimated to my surrounding place. My job learning the Xs and Os about what I’m going to do every day and the verbiage and the communication, that’s the difficult part.”

Casillas was also asked how he felt being traded from the last-place Buccaneers to the place-first Patriots:

“Do I really have to answer that question?”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Recently released linebacker Deontae Skinner has cleared waivers and is expected to re-sign with the Patriots, tweets the Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young. The rookie was released by New England yesterday following the signing of Alan Branch.
  • ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss reacts to the Patriots handling of the trade deadline, writing that Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck could have helped, but the price was likely too high. Reiss notes that he never bought into the Vincent Jackson/Doug Martin rumors.
  • Jets supporters seemingly haven’t been too thrilled with the work of general manager John Idzik, and some fans have created a website called firejohnidzik.com (via John Healy of the New York Daily News).
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com examines the Bills options for handling Kyle Orton‘s contract should the quarterback lead the team to the playoffs. The veteran currently has $5.4MM base salary for next season (with a $7MM cap hit), but he has the opportunity to void his contract immediately following the Super Bowl. If Orton decides to stick around, Rodak believes the team’s two options are to either extend him to a long-term contract or offer him a more lucrative, one-year deal.

Trade Notes: Tuck, Seahawks, Chargers

The 2014 trade deadline is less than four hours away, and while we saw one major deal completed this month, when the Seahawks sent Percy Harvin to the Jets, it remains to be seen whether any other notable names will be on the move before 3:00pm central time today. While we wait to find out what happens, let’s round up a few trade-related items from around the NFL….

  • In addition to trade candidates we’ve already heard about, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) identifies veteran pass rusher Justin Tuck as one player who could be on the move today. Tuck just signed a two-year deal with Oakland in the offseason, but with the team still winless and Tuck owed as much as $5MM next season, it’s only logical that the Raiders would listen to any offers they receive.
  • In his latest piece for CBSSports.com, Jason La Canfora takes a look at several non-contending teams, suggesting which players he’d make available if he were the general manager of the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Raiders, Falcons, and others. In many cases, La Canfora names the Seahawks as potential suitors for the trade candidates he mentions, pointing out that Seattle is one of the league’s most aggressive teams and is actively trying to improve its roster at the deadline.
  • The Chargers, having not executed a midseason trade since 2007, are unlikely to be active at today’s deadline, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Raiders Notes: Coliseum, Tuck, Hayden

The ten-year lease that would have kept the Oakland Athletics playing in the Coliseum for at least a decade has not been made official. That’s because Oakland representatives and Alameda County representatives can’t decide whether they want to continue with the deal. The four Oakland officials failed to show up to Friday’s vote, boycotting the process. As a result, neither side is too pleased. Via Matthew Artz of the Oakland Tribune

“We are constantly frustrated by the actions of our partners,” the Alameda County supervisor, Nate Miley, said. “Not being able to vote on this deal today, I think that sends a chilling message… to Major League Baseball that is very disappointing.”

Oakland representative Larry Reid responded:

“Nate shouldn’t be trying to run the [Joint Powers Authority] like a dictatorship.”

Meanwhile, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff remains optimistic:

“We understand the city will take one last look at the transaction early next week. And we would expect a formal vote by the JPA by the end of the week.”

The Raiders are certainly monitoring the entire situation. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com points out, the team only has a one-year lease and can move anywhere as soon as 2015.

Let’s check out some more Coliseum and Raiders news…

  • Dr. David Chao, a former NFL head team physician with 17 years of experience, wrote a piece for the National Football Post detailing the injury risks associated with playing in the Coliseum. He particularly focused on the risks of playing on dirt, which could lead to leg injuries, risky skin abrasions and severe concussions. Furthermore, the 50-year-old stadium doesn’t cater to injured players, who have to climb three flights of stairs to reach the stadium’s x-ray room.
  • Justin Tuck is enjoying his time in the Bay Area, but he admitted to Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger that he expected to be back with the Giants. You spend nine years in one place. You have a lot of success there and a lot of great friends. So yeah, it’s going to be weird but I understand the business side of things and you need to move forward…To answer your question, I am still surprised I’m not a New York Giant.”
  • The Raiders were very active this offseason, but ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez says the team still could have improved their wide receiver and tight end depth. The writer brings up an analogy from head coach Dennis Allen, who compared it to “sitting on Santa’s lap and not getting quite everything you asked for.”
  • The Raiders’ lack of interest in Brandon Flowers indicates that the team is comfortable with D.J. Hayden and may not pursue a veteran cornerback, Gutierrez writes.

Contract Details: DRC, Hauschka, Edelman

We’ve got plenty more contract details to round up, so let’s dive right in….

  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun and Albert Breer of the NFL Network pass along several key details on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie‘s contract with the Giants, which seems to include $12MM in fully guaranteed money, and a little more in salary guaranteed for injury only. Here are the relevant Twitter links to read up on all the specifics.
  • Wilson also shares the specifics on Steven Hauschka‘s three-year contract with the Seahawks (Twitter link), Walter Thurmond‘s one-year deal with the Giants (Twitter link), and Dane Fletcher‘s one-year deal with the Bucs (Twitter link).
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com has been doing a great job all week getting finalized contract details up in his database, and he passed along several new entries today. Among them: The Raiderstwo-year deals for LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck, the Eaglesextension for Darren Sproles, and the Saints‘ five-year pact with Zach Strief.
  • Julian Edelman received a $5MM signing bonus from the Patriots on his new contract, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com has the details on Santana Moss‘ minimum salary benefit contract and Clifton Geathers‘ two-year deal with the Redskins.
  • Although Michael Oher‘s four-year deal with the Titans was initially reported as including $9.5MM in guaranteed money, it’s actually a little less than that, and only $6MM is fully guaranteed, with another $3.35MM guaranteed for injury only. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com has the details.
  • Emmanuel Sanders‘ three-year, $15MM contract with the Broncos features $6MM in guaranteed money and cap hits of $6MM (2014), $4MM (2015), and $5MM (2016), tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
  • Updating his earlier report on Charles Tillman‘s contract with the Bears, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets that the deal includes $150K in performance incentives (based on total interceptions), so it could max out at $3.4MM instead of $3.25MM.
  • Frank Zombo‘s two-year deal with the Chiefs is worth $1.6MM and includes a $100K signing bonus, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. A minimum-salary deal for Zombo with a $100K bonus would work out to $1.575MM, so either that $1.6MM figure is rounded up, or the linebacker received slightly more than the minimum.

Justin Tuck Discusses Giants’ Offer

When the Raiders and Justin Tuck agreed to a two-year, $11MM deal yesterday, one of the first details reported suggested that the veteran defensive end gave the Giants a chance to match the offer before he agreed to it. However, Tuck tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News today that the Giants wouldn’t have necessarily had to match the $11MM to keep him around.

According to Tuck, he would’ve been willing to return to New York for something in the neighborhood of two years and $8MM, but the the Giants’ final offer was worth less than $6MM for two years. Tuck, 30, confirms that even though he spoke to team owner John Mara after receiving the offer he eventually accepted from the Raiders, the Giants were unwilling to increase their own offer.

Tuck stressed that he was grateful for his time in New York, where he spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career, but was disappointed to be leaving on this note.

“I’m just frustrated with how it ended. I’m upset about it,” Tuck said. “But I’ll move on and hopefully one day time will heal all wounds. Right now, I just don’t understand a lot that’s gone on and how they strung us along.”