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Giants' Justin Tuck willing to play elsewhere if need be

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck holds the Vince

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after receiving it from a FedEx delivery truck at Times Square to kick off Super Bowl Boulevard on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Credit: AP

A month after the 2013 season ended for the Giants, Justin Tuck told Newsday on Thursday he has no clearer picture of whether he will return to the team in 2014.

The free agent-in-waiting said he hopes he can remain with the Giants but is preparing himself for other options.

"We'll talk later and we'll figure it out," he said of conversations he'll have with the team. "Hopefully we can come up with something that's good for both sides. If not, we'll be going somewhere else trying to do the same thing somewhere else."

After disappointing statistical seasons in 2011 and 2012, Tuck rebounded in 2013 to lead the team with 11 sacks. He also was credited with helping keep the team united during the 7-9 season that began with six straight losses.

Tuck spoke on behalf of MetLife's Winter Welcome campaign. MetLife has the naming rights for the stadium that will host this Sunday's Super Bowl.

Tuck said it will be tough to watch the Broncos and Seahawks in MetLife Stadium, but he hopes it will inspire. "Guys are going to be sitting in your locker, that's difficult to swallow," he said, "but I think that will drive us to right our ship."

For now, anyway, the Giants' ship is Tuck's ship, too.

Tuck talk on Strahan.Tuck doesn't think Michael Strahan should be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

He thinks it should have happened last year.

Strahan is one of the finalists for this year's class and his candidacy has become a source of debate -- particularly with Warren Sapp.

"People make mistakes," Tuck said of the committee not selecting Strahan a year ago. "I don't think [Strahan] really cares. Guys of his caliber want to be first-ballot guys. I really felt as though he should have been, but the Hall of Fame is such an elite class I'm sure he doesn't care when he gets in. He will get in and he deserves to get in, regardless of what some other people might think."

Denver coach John Fox, who served as the Giants' defensive coordinator for five seasons, also weighed in. "First of all, I think it's a shame that's going on, but I believe Michael does deserve it. I believe he deserved it a year ago," Fox said. "That's my personal opinion. But the actuality is, he was a great leader. He won a Super Bowl. I think he exemplified what our league is about in a very positive light, both on and off the field. And so I think he's the perfect candidate, and I know if I had a vote, he'd have mine."

With Kimberley A. Martin

New York Sports