At the beginning of this offseason, Giants fans were supremely confident in two things: Eli Manning and Jason Pierre-Paul. While confidence in Eli amongst the New York faithful is still high as ever, JPP’s stock has definitely waned since his firework related mishap on the Fourth of July.
Giants fans saw a different side of their star defensive end, and for a team that thrives flying under the radar, they didn’t particularly like it. While JPP may have frustrated a fan base with his immature actions, he has apparently done far worse with the owners and coaching staff, as his injuries may risk his standing with the New York Giants.
At the opening of Giants’ training camp, owner John Mara held a press conference, something the Giants’ owner rarely does. In said press conference he expressed a great deal of concern for Jason Pierre-Paul, pleading with him to “come home,” and admitting how much the New York Giants organization misses him. Mara’s desperation in his press conference signals how things have apparently gone sour in the relationship between the Giants and JPP. In fact, it appears that the two sides have barely discussed anything since JPP apparently lost a finger over Independence Day weekend.
According to Mara, the Giants received one text message from JPP after the incident saying that he is fine and would come back better than ever. However, since he has yet to sign the franchise tender that the Giants offered him in March, he is not technically under contract with New York, and thus has no obligation to submit to training camp or medical examinations at the hands of the Giants. Pierre-Paul has opted to handle his own medical care, staying in south Florida, away from the Giants. For a player who needs to win back favor with his team, that doesn’t seem like the brightest idea.
Throughout his press conference, John Mara reiterated that he cares about JPP’s help first and foremost, which is why Mara wants him back in New York. The Giants have one of the top training staffs in the country, and would be able to monitor and rehab Pierre-Paul back to full strength, something he could accomplish in south Florida, but not with the same level of expertise. Mara also said the Giants have not seen the damage caused to JPP’s hand, making it impossible for them to judge when he can return to football activities.
In holding this press conference, John Mara showcased the unbelievable class of the New York Giants organization, by attempting to reach out to a troubled player, who he believes is receiving “bad advice” in Florida regarding how to handle the aftermath of his fireworks mishap. If someone from Pierre-Paul’s camp doesn’t respond to Mara’s plea, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants start to look at life after JPP, as that kind of behavior is unacceptable in the Giants’ organization.
Throughout their history, the New York Giants have relished success the most when their superstars put the team above themselves and stay out of the death trap that is the New York media. JPP did that very well during his early years in the league, however this latest incident has shed some light on the immaturity of the Giants’ defensive end.
For a figure like Mara to hold a public press conference divulging details about how little contact the two parties have had since Pierre-Paul’s injury, the situation must be seriously deteriorating. Jason Pierre-Paul has to figure out if he wants to be a New York Giant at the start of this season, or I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants move on.