Justin Tuck deflects contract talk

Updated: August 7, 2011, 2:46 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck says he's considered having to go through a similar situation as disgruntled teammate Osi Umenyiora in regards to his contract, but was noncommittal about acting on the thought.

"I've thought about a lot of things," Tuck said Saturday. "But like I said, we'll cross that bridge when we get there."

The 28-year-old Tuck, who had 76 tackles, 11.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2010, currently has three years remaining on the five-year, $30 million contract extension he signed in 2008. Tuck is slated to earn $3.45 million base salary this season, $3.2 million in 2012 and $4 million in 2013. Another $3 million is available to him in incentives in the final two years of his deal based on sacks and Pro Bowl berths.

Tuck says he's "definitely" learned from Umenyiora's situation, but wouldn't expand on his own status.

"You know what, honestly I love playing the game of football and the Giants have given me an opportunity to play it and I'm happy about that," Tuck said Monday. "When my contract comes up, we'll talk about my opportunity. Until then, I'm happy to be a New York Giant."

Umenyiora is currently unhappy with his contract, and either wants to get a new deal or be traded. In 2005, he signed a seven-year, $41 million extension, including $15 million guaranteed. He has two years remaining on that deal, with a little more than $7 million in total base salary.

The Giants and Umenyiora have been in discussions in an effort to reach an accord, but both sides remain in an impasse, and the 29-year-old, who had 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles last season, continues to sit and watch practice during training camp. The team says his dealing with what's being called a "sore knee."

"I feel it's important to play out your contract as long as you're happy, as long as you feel as though they've done right by you," Tuck said Monday. "How I look at it, my time will come. My situation isn't Osi's. If I was in Osi's situation, would I be saying what I'm saying right now? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know because I'm not Osi.

"Like I said, as football players we all have to seize the moment. So anytime in this career it could be over just like that. Osi has to do what's best for him and his family. He has to do what he thinks is best and I think he's going to do that. You can't fault him for trying to make the most out of his career."

Tuck said Saturday that all successful players in the NFL will eventually go through a situation like Umenyiora's -- even if they'd all like to avoid it.

"Honestly, every successful player is gonna have some kind of run-in like this," Tuck said. "Some go smoothly, some don't.

"So, we'll see what happens."

Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPN NewYork.com.

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