The New York Giants should avoid using the franchise tag this offseason. Jason Pierre-Paul merits the franchise tag however reaching a long term deal would behoove both him and the Giants. The franchise tag essentially means that you’re paying the player for one year a top 5 salary at his position. It is a little more complicated than that, but that is essentially what it boils down to. The cap hit for a defensive end getting the franchise tag figures to be a little over $12 million.
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
Pierre-Paul had 12.5 sacks in 2014. This ranked 8th in the NFL, though 5 of the players ahead of him are outside linebackers in the 3-4. Pierre-Paul had the third most sacks as a defensive end.
Because you pay mostly for sacks, Pierre-Paul merits the franchise tag salary. When you consider that Pierre-Paul was in on 77 tackles in 2014, which was the most among the top 8 in sacks, he makes a tremendous impact.
The Giants obviously don’t want to lose Pierre-Paul, who has 42 sacks in 5 seasons with the Giants. The only sensible solution would be agreeing to a long term contract before Pierre-Paul hits the open market.
A long term deal that is cap friendly in the first couple of seasons would be the best thing for both parties.
Instead of a one year deal and the threat of being tagged for a second straight season, Pierre Paul would have some guaranteed money in his pocket and the comfort of at least a few good more years wearing the Giants’ big blue. The Giants would be able to keep Pierre-Paul and still attack free agency with some vigor.
Pierre-Paul is a very good football player but he is replaceable. The Giants have too many needs to address to be successful in the coming seasons. They cannot risk their potential short term success to secure the rights to one player.
The franchise tag is too expensive of a cap hit for Pierre-Paul. The Giants should either lock him up for a multiple year contract with a responsible cap space, or they should prepare to move on.
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The Giants had the 7th ranked offense last season. With Geoff Schwartz and Victor Cruz coming back after their season-ending injuries, the offensive attack should be even greater. The Giants number one priority must be fixing the defense.
There are more problems than just at the defensive end position. Secondly, the Giants can draft a pass rusher with the 9th overall pick that will be more cost effective than Pierre-Paul.
The Giants may not want to lose Pierre-Paul, but the franchise tag makes little sense as a solution. It would only weaken the Giants ability to be active in free agency.