This is it for Jason Pierre-Paul—also known as JPP—and the New York Giants. He may play his way through this year, but the two sides are done with each other. He’ll either be traded during the year or he’ll become a free agent and sign somewhere else.
Things were already a bit on the outs with Pierre-Paul. The Giants had designated him as their franchise player, and he hadn’t signed it. They had also given him a longer offer, which he had ignored, feeling it was too low, and now, in the wake of his fireworks accident, they’ve pulled that $60 million offer.
These are two sides that were already getting a bit chippy. Now you have a player with a history of back surgery and a missing finger. It’s enough for the Giants to just wash their hands of the whole thing. They may have attempted to mend fences before, but not now.
Pierre-Paul is also a bit disgruntled. The Giants sent someone to the hospital to evaluate him, and he didn’t let them in. That’s likely because he felt the team was only looking out for itself—sending someone to see if he had any value as a football player, rather than checking on his well-being.
Supporting that is the retracted offer. Not that the Giants were in the wrong to pull the deal, but it shows the team is thinking in terms of dollars and cents. Smart or otherwise, Pierre-Paul isn’t going to take kindly to that.
Now, reports are that he’s going to wait to sign the franchise tag because he’s afraid the Giants would try to take even more money from him. If he signed now, the Giants could ship him over to the non-football injury list. That would give them the power to reject his pay for at least six weeks, which he would be obligated to miss if his name was still sitting on that list come opening day.
Waiting means they can’t do that, so they can’t declare him unable to play for half the year and keep around $6-7 million.
The money is yet again getting in the way. Even if the Giants weren’t planning to do that, the fact that Pierre-Paul thinks they were indicates the state of mind on both sides. There is no trust. There is no relationship.
And for that reason, he’s out.
All of this hasn’t even taken into account that no one knows what Pierre-Paul can do on the field anymore. Sure, he’s been a very good defender in the past, but we’re talking about an amputated finger. This is a serious injury that lasts for life. He’s saying he expects to play, but there’s no way he knows if he can be any good.
He can believe it all he wants, but that’s not the same as knowing. Until he has a season in the books, no one knows if he’ll still be able to fight off blocks and get to the quarterback.
Missing camp hurts, as well. He’s going to be a step behind when the season opens, even if his hand has healed. It’s going to take him a bit to get back into the swing of things, and that’s on top of having to learn to play with one less finger.
The only way the New York Giants would bring him back is if he utterly dominated. Then they’d throw a ton of money his way, sooth his hurt feelings, and repair those bridges. If he has 10-14 sacks, all is well.
But he won’t. Pierre-Paul will be lucky just to look like himself for the first third of the year. He may be able to put together a solid campaign, but solid doesn’t earn you more than $60 million. The Giants won’t pay and he’ll hit the free agent market, looking for a new team to prove he still has it.