Jason Pierre-Paul has reportedly chosen to amputate his right index finger, a move designed to get him back on the field quicker. The Independence Day Fireworks incident has put the New York Giants in uncharted territory.
There is no manual for this kind of situation. There is precedent for a lot of bad situations. This one is rather unique. Here you have a player who was seeking a long-term contract, who has yet to sign his franchise tag tender, a franchise tag that would cost the Giants just over $14 million, with an amputated right index finger.
It is important to understand three things about the Pierre-Paul story. The first thing to remember is that we have limited information and we are all waiting for more details to be reported. Secondly it looks that he will be playing more football this season than he will be missing.
Thirdly, the Giants must look at this from a long-term thing. Pierre-Paul can recover from this and maintain his elite pass rushing status. Yes the cap room that parting ways with Pierre-Paul would bring looks appealing, but the Giants are better with the veteran pass rusher on their roster.
Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back runs the ball as New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) attempts the tackle during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Letting Pierre-Paul walk doesn’t make a ton of sense. Yes he did something foolish, but he isn’t a locker room disruptor. In fact he is actually viewed as a leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Giants. If the defensive end can still rush the passer why would the Giants let him do it for somebody else.
The Giants though are not without their options. They could rescind their franchise tag of Pierre-Paul, making him a free agent. The best case scenario would see the Giants rescind their franchise tag and sign him to a cheaper and safer one year deal.
In that best case scenario the Giants would take a massive risk. Pierre-Paul probably wouldn’t be inclined to take less money than the expensive tag of a defensive end would provide him. The Giants would have to hope that there wouldn’t be a team willing to pay him more to snatch him away.
If the Giants were willing to walk away from Pierre-Paul they could use the money to come to a short term deal with offensive guard Evan Mathis. In that scenario the Giants would still have a star seeking a long-term deal that they will struggle to afford. How Mathis is still a free agent is absolutely mind boggling but it may not be the answer for the Giants.
Expect the Giants to retain the services of Pierre-Paul. It makes more sense to keep him for the Giants. For Pierre-Paul the open market may sound more intriguing, but in the open market their are no promises.
All it takes is one team to fall in love with the idea of having him, if the Giants allowed him to hit free agency. Yet we don’t know that there is a franchise willing to pull the trigger on that kind of deal. The safest move for both parties is to stick together for at least one more season; cool heads will prevail.
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