Chris Snee and Justin Tuck could become former Giants
INDIANAPOLIS -- The days of the double-ringed Giants player could be coming to a swift end. General manager Jerry Reese promised "significant differences" for the 2014 roster that could include the departures of two-time Super Bowl champions and team captains Justin Tuck and Chris Snee.
Reese said Tuck will hit the open market as a free agent next month (along with 23 other would-be unrestricted free agents currently on the roster) and voiced concerns about Snee's injuries, salary-cap hit and age as factors that could prevent him from returning.
Every team faces turnover from season to season, but the Giants seem to be on the verge of changing the tenor and personality of their locker room. Not to mention the history.
Brandon Jacobs and David Diehl already have announced their retirements and Corey Webster and Aaron Ross most likely will not return. If Tuck and Snee depart, it will leave only two players on the roster who played in the team's two most recent Super Bowl champions: Eli Manning and long-snapper Zak DeOssie.
Even with that kind of jarring change, Reese said he is confident that the Giants can succeed.
"It happens every year," he said. "You see teams the previous year and you have two or three wins, and guys turn it around and win 14 games, 10 or 12 games. I think we can turn it around."
As for high-profile free agents such as Tuck, Hakeem Nicks and Jon Beason, Reese said he offered them some advice.
"Those guys deserve to see what the market is," he said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday. "I have talks with all of those guys, and free agency means free agency. It means you go out and try to get as much money as you can . . . We'll leave our options open and I'm sure they'll do the same."
Snee's situation is more complicated, given that he is under contract for the 2014 season with a base salary of nearly $7 million and a cap number of more than $11 million.
"Is he going to be healthy? That's the number one thing," Reese said. "Obviously, he's got a big contract. That's an issue as well. All of that will get hashed out."
In the last few years, the Giants have made a habit of signing at least one of their pending free agents to a long-term deal before they hit the market. Two years ago, it was Terrell Thomas. Last year, it was Will Beatty. It's hard to say that either of those worked out well for the Giants, which might prevent them from doing it this year.
"It's a guessing game," Reese said of gambling by letting players walk and hoping they come back. "If you have the funds available to extend guys and tie them up, we've done that a lot in the past. We think right now it's best to see what the market is and make our move from there."