Raiders Sign Justin Tuck
Oakland signed veteran DE Justin Tuck to a two-year, $11 million contract. This is after Tuck gave his former team, the Giants, ample opportunity to re-sign the 30-year-old. New York didn’t bite, and they also declined to match Oakland’s offer.
The Raiders are a team in rebuilding, having just lost one of the league’s most underrated defensive linemen in Lamarr Houston, who signed with the Bears on Tuesday. North of 30, Tuck doesn’t necessary fit the mold of a player you build a defense around. But with the market thinning out, the Raiders at least have a starting caliber player.
A former top-end pass rusher, Tuck posted double-digit sacks and 60-plus total tackles in three-of-four seasons from 2007-2010. However, the last three seasons haven’t been quite as productive. Tuck battled injuries, and his play seemed to fall off a cliff. That is, until the last six games of last season where Tuck posted 9.5 sacks.
Whether or not this was a case of a player stepping up in a contract year is debatable, but the open market didn’t buzz for Tuck. It’s also unclear which version of Tuck the Raiders are signing – the one from the last six games of 2013, or the lackluster version from the previous 37 games.
The good news for Tuck’s fantasy value is that he steps into a situation where he’s likely to see a lot of snaps. Still, as he’s shown us over the last three years, Tuck is anything but consistent. We’ll likely see elite-level production one week, and a disappearing act the next. At best, Tuck comes in as a borderline DL2.
Tuck leaves behind a situation with several question marks in New York. The oft-injured Jason Pierre-Paul is dangerously close to becoming a flash in the pan. He did not require shoulder surgery this offseason, but we’ll have to wait and see if he’s able to return at full strength in 2014.
Mathias Kiwanuka and Damontre Moore will also see significant time in the Giants’ pass-rush rotation. Kiwanuka is just a guy, but Moore deserves a long look from IDP owners. He’s in line for an increased role, and could be an IDP breakout. Moore should be on every IDP owner’s sleeper list.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.