Sometimes, one of a team’s most popular players simply cannot spend his entire career with that one team. Longtime New York Giants captain and defensive end Justin Tuck is the latest example of that disappointing fact in today’s sports landscape. The 30-year-old pass rusher has agreed to join the Oakland Raiders on a two-year, $11 million deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
After a visit with the Raiders on Wednesday, Tuck reportedly gave the Giants an opportunity to match Oakland’s offer. They declined and that decision cemented Tuck’s move to the West Coast.
The former third-round pick has played all nine of his NFL seasons with the G-Men, winning two Super Bowl championships during that stretch. Since joining the team in 2005, he has been a force off the edge, registering 60.5 sacks—sixth in franchise history.
Tuck was the sixth-most productive 4-3 defensive end, according to Pro Football Focus (via CBS Sports), and tallied 11 sacks this past season. The Raiders ranked 28th against the pass with just 38 sacks.
Tuck offered a thank you to all of the Giants fans for their support over the years on his Facebook page following the announcement of his deal.
Meanwhile, former teammate Steve Weatherford showed his support via Twitter.
— Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) March 13, 2014
For most, Tuck’s departure will be difficult to accept regardless of what stage in his career he may be in. He has been a beloved figure and leader since day one in New York. He may not be on the level of a Derek Jeter or Eli Manning in New York Sports lore, but he has been among the classiest athletes to suit up in a New York Sports uniform. Don’t be surprised to see him inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor in the very near future.