A little more than a month ago, defensive end Justin Tuck, who was coming off one of his best seasons since 2011, told the media that he wanted to retire as a Giant.
"Everyone knows how great this place is and how great this organization is, these fans, this city, this region and that's the ideal [situation]," he said, via Tom Rock of Newsday.
Somewhere along the line, perhaps during the meeting he had with general manager Jerry Reese after his year-end media session to remind Reese of how good of a player he still is, something went astray.
What that something is, I can't say for sure. If I had to guess, I'd say that Reese—who has some major work to do to fix an offense that his boss, team CEO John Mara, described as "broken," via Giants.com—wasn't willing to commit to anything.
It's not known if Tuck has since met with Reese, though he told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that he planned to sit down with Reese again "in a couple of weeks" to reopen discussions about his future with the team.
Meanwhile, Tuck told Hubbuch that he will test the free-agent market.
"I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn't see what the market is, and I will," Tuck said.
Tuck might want to be careful before he leaps into a new situation. Last year, defensive end Osi Umenyiora, his former teammate, was in an identical situation, a situation that could be heading south in a hurry this offseason if the Atlanta Falcons decide to go with youth.
If you recall, Umenyiora, like Tuck, had a solid contract season. In 2012, he finished with 6.0 sacks in 16 games.
When free agency hit, the 32-year-old Umenyiora couldn't seem to get away from the Giants fast enough, signing a two-year deal worth $8.5 million.
By year's end when Atlanta was out of the playoff race, Umenyiora was reduced to a reserve role that he might be asked to keep moving forward—assuming he's still on the team.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN points out that Umenyiora's $4.75 million cap figure for 2014 might be a bit steep for the Falcons to carry if they keep Umenyiora as a reserve.
Getting back to Tuck, whose contract demands haven't been made public but which would presumably include money and perhaps a chance to remain in the starting lineup given his "good player" comment made to Hubbuch, he claims to understand where the Giants are coming from.
If that's indeed the case, then he needs to understand that given the marketing opportunities in New York, the money he's sure to make should more than balance out any kind of reduced contract and/or role he'd have to take to remain with the Giants.
If I had to guess what happens, I think Tuck will return to the Giants, though probably not right away. While one can't blame Tuck for wanting to score one last big contract, he can at least take some comfort in knowing that he's built himself into a highly marketable brand.