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Justin Tuck says he contemplated retirement last year

Justin Tuck AP

These days, the Giants are latching onto any able-bodied defensive linemen they can find.

But one of them said Tuesday he considered walking away mid-season last year.

Defensive end Justin Tuck told Steve Serby of the New York Post he considered retirement, at a time when shoulder problems and the emotional toll of some family grief made him wonder if he was helping the team.

“After the hardships of last year, I did some soul-searching, and really had to ask myself if this is what I want,” Tuck said. “Obviously, I’m back, and I just feel kind of refreshed mentally. I think a lot of things were weighing on me last year where I couldn’t necessarily be my normal self on and off the football field.

“I’ve kind of put those things in the past now and moved forward.”

Tuck lost his grandfather last August and an uncle in September, and coupled with the shoulder problems that left him playing one-armed, he said he thought about retiring at “several points.”

“Sure. Definitely did. I contemplated it,” Tuck said. “But, I think that was just me feeling sorry for myself for a little bit there.”

He said after talking to family and friends, he realized “this is what I love to do, and I’m not ready to give it up regardless of the hardships.”

“I think for a little while, like I said, I felt sorry for myself because of the fact that I’m sitting here saying like, ‘Why is all this happening to me?’” Tuck said. “I don’t think I was thinking clearly. After winning the Super Bowl, getting away from football for a while allowed me just to think clearly.”

It’s a good thing for the Giants, who obviously couldn’t take another hit to a thin group.

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18 Responses to “Justin Tuck says he contemplated retirement last year”
  1. Nick Mordowanec says: Aug 15, 2012 10:51 AM

    Just like James Harrison said he was going to retire, then they see the paychecks and the fame and notoriety and suddenly change their minds. Stories like this in sports happen every day.

  2. steve717 says: Aug 15, 2012 10:57 AM

    This really pisses me off and demonstrates how detached professional athletes are from the real world. We’ve all lost relatives and gone through particularly difficult times in our lives. Guess what? I didn’t think about retiring from my job.

  3. hulkhogansays says: Aug 15, 2012 11:00 AM

    Hmm..of course he would all of a sudden feel this way the moment the Redskins landed RGIII brother. I sense fear in NY.

  4. flapjackdaddy says: Aug 15, 2012 11:02 AM

    At least he can admit that he was ‘feeling sorry for himself.’ Most people would not acknowledge that they were part of the problem.

  5. blacknole08 says: Aug 15, 2012 11:03 AM

    I like hearing stories like this because it shows that athletes are real people. Tuck always comes across as genuine and I’m glad he could work through his issues.

  6. chuey1 says: Aug 15, 2012 11:08 AM

    Injuries aside, it’s tough to lose family. But three in one year will make anyone question their lifes path. But JT will see his way through. After all his Grandfather and Uncles would want him to push on.

  7. lightcleric says: Aug 15, 2012 11:11 AM

    We do all have losses, but it was also a question of whether he was being effective at his job with his injury, and if I had the money to retire at that age and I felt that way, it would probably cross my mind as well. Good on him for continuing to play.

  8. mikea311 says: Aug 15, 2012 11:11 AM

    I really didn’t think my love for a team could top 2007, but after reading all the adversity this team went through and just toughed it out, just reinforces why I love and root for these guys.

    hater can hate all they want but no team sucked it up and fought like the Giants did last year.

    they may have had the most talent or best record or best stats, but they by far the best “team” last year.

  9. cowboys5x says: Aug 15, 2012 11:23 AM

    Leave, you will never be good as Ware

  10. jbl429 says: Aug 15, 2012 11:33 AM

    As a Giants fan, I’m really glad he pulled through. Classy guy and an anchor on the defensive line. Granted JPP is turning out to be a stud as well, but the defense, and team in general, wouldn’t be the same without #91 back there.

  11. sirkeeb says: Aug 15, 2012 11:43 AM

    OH WHY ME?!

    look, i feel for anyone who loses family members, but really?

    oh why me i get paid millions of dollars to play a SPORT, and i wanna retire because things get a little tough.

    if my grandfather died or uncle died i couldnt go sail the Mediterranean at the drop of a dime to feel better.

    get it in better perspective there tuck.

  12. dominicthedonkey says: Aug 15, 2012 11:52 AM

    Hulkhogansays:
    Hmm..of course he would all of a sudden feel this way the moment the Redskins landed RGIII brother. I sense fear in NY.
    ——————————————————

    Is everyone as tired of the senseless babbling that spews put of his mouth everyday? I used to enjoy reading everyone’s comments, but this blowhard has made this blog a joke. There is never any substance to what he spews out of his pie-hole. I can’t wait until the season starts so this jerk will shut up when his team is at the bottom of the division. Dude, I got news for you! RGIII will not make it through the season. His body will not be able to withstand the pounding, week in & week out. How about putting your money where your mouth is? I know your mouth is attached to your backside, unlike the rest of us. If the Redskins are at the bottom of the division by mid-season, you stop posting your daily crap and admit you were wrong! If the Redskins are at the top of the division…I will do the same. How ’bout it Hulk?

  13. hulkhogansay says: Aug 15, 2012 11:53 AM

    Tuck is going to own RGIII and my Skins for a long time brother.

  14. hulkhogansays says: Aug 15, 2012 12:05 PM

    You’ve got a deal brother, but somehow I doubt you’d live up to your end of the deal. Just know I only have one screenname on this site and the reason I bring that up is because many other wrestling related screennames have been popped up recently. Enjoy your sweep, sweep this season NY.

  15. gcsuk says: Aug 15, 2012 12:15 PM

    hulkhogansays says: Aug 15, 2012 11:00 AM

    Hmm..of course he would all of a sudden feel this way the moment the Redskins landed RGIII brother. I sense fear in NY.
    ———————————————————————

    I sense stupidity and arrogance in DC. Whole lot of steam coming from a blowhard whose team hasn’t won the division (or anything else) since the last century.

  16. njgiant1982 says: Aug 15, 2012 12:41 PM

    cowboys5x says:
    Aug 15, 2012 11:23 AM
    Leave, you will never be good as Ware

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    How many rings does Ware have? How many does Tuck have? If he were as good as Tuck or a better impact player thank Tuck, Ware wouldn’t be on team that fails so consistently when it counts. …

  17. giantsfaninpa says: Aug 15, 2012 8:40 PM

    I want to first start by saying that I am a huge Giants fan born and raised in NYC that now lives outside of Philly everyone of friends are Eagles fans even my wife is an Eagles fan. Last year on the Friday before the first Giants vs Eagles game I lost my cousin at age 31. Our family was to say the least a mess. I got together with my three cousins and aunt who just lost their brother and son along with my cousins three year old daughter he left behind and we watched the Giants win. Now it may seem small and not that important at the time but that small victory real helped raise our spirits after that game I posted a tweet to Justin tuck and he responded with some very kind words and told me about how he lost his grandfather and uncle recently as well. Now in my book that is a hell of a guy to take the time after a game to respond to a fan that he never met and was going through a similar situation. A lot of you people are complaining that he is just whining and life goes on. But losing loved ones if tough and for him to be able to still go out there everyday and work hard and never give up is respectable. Not only that but to be honest with the entire world and himself in public that is just awesome. Football players are humans they go through the same things that we do only they have to do most of it with the world watching. My opinion is that not only is Justin Tuck a great player he is also a great person. As much as I will hate it as fan when he does retire he will always have this fans respect and admiration.

  18. stoudemelo says: Aug 16, 2012 4:24 AM

    @giantsfaninpa super long post but good story.

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