In two weeks, the New York Giants will have to decide whether or not if they intend to utilize their franchise tag. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been the primary candidate to receive the designation. The South Florida product has shown flashes of being a brilliant playmaker for the Giants, most notably during his 2011 campaign when he posted 16.5 sacks on the way to securing a championship ring after Super Bowl XLVI. However, his career has also been marred with inconsistency, with the 2014 regular season being an example.
Pierre-Paul totaled only 3.5 sacks through Week 12 of last season which really is not the type of production one would expect from the type of player that the franchise hoped to build a defense around. Weeks 13 through 17 was the duration when nine sacks were tallied on the way to close out the regular season.
Those statistics were forced on the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles. Minus Philadelphia, the competition was not considered strong which raises some question when looking at the context of things.
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The last two seasons, Pierre-Paul was physically limited due to some back troubles. During the summer of 2013 was when he underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc.
Despite the surgery occurring roughly two months before training camp, Pierre-Paul was still able to play in Week 1 of that season but still did not have the season that many had expected. Coming off back surgery is a serious thing in general given that the structure of one’s body needs to get itself back into shape.
While Pierre-Paul did have a respectable 2014 campaign on the whole, the Giants would like to see better week-in-week-out production. “The guy has some ability to be a game-changer. We did not see enough of that in the first half of the season,” said Giants general manager Jerry Reese (Steve Serby, NY Post). With back issues behind him (no pun intended), the Giants who currently have enough cap room to pay him handsomely are weighing how they want to go about this situation.
A very intelligent move would be to label Pierre-Paul with the non-exclusive franchise tag. Once the designation is placed on him, the club has seven days to match any offer from another club that is given to him. If Pierre-Paul takes the offer from another club and bolts, the Giants gain two first-round picks, a very promising consolation for not being able to keep the young pass rusher.
Jun 18, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) catches the ball during New York Giants mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
The endgame resolution that the Giants hope to achieve with Pierre-Paul is to sign him to a long-term deal, one that likely that pays him $11 to $12 million a season (Serby).
The franchise tag will require the Giants to pay him almost $15 million for this upcoming season if he plays under the one-year designation. Giants fans can expect for Pierre-Paul to get a long-term deal, it just remains unknown as to where he will get it from.
With this non-exclusive franchise tag, the price for another club to sign Pierre-Paul will cost not just a lot more than what the Giants would be willing to extend him to but two first-round draft picks in addition.
That is a huge investment, generally speaking. As usual the Giants hold a lot of leverage in these types of situations and they still do here. The club understands that talented pass rushers in their twenties are hard to find but they are also still loyal to their standards in setting themselves up safely underneath the salary cap.