By now everybody knows what is going on with Jason Pierre-Paul. After a fireworks accident, he had to amputate a finger and he won’t sign his franchise tender until he is healthy enough to pass his physical. For the sake of conversation let’s just say he comes back week one and plays a full season. What are reasonable expectations for Pierre-Paul.
At first it may be a challenge to get used to playing with nine fingers. It is however something that has been done in the past. Ronnie Lott, the legendary safety for the San Francisco 49ers had 10 interceptions after coming back from a finger amputation. If Pierre-Paul had 10 sacks this season, the Giants would gladly take it.
Pierre-Paul is still a freak athlete. He has the size and length as well as the quickness off the edge to provide consistent pressure on quarterbacks. Pierre-Paul will probably still be a pretty good football player. He lost a finger but his talent should be well in tact.
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
The franchise tag costs the Giants $14.8 million once Pierre-Paul signs it. It is a hefty one year contract and the Giants hope he proves worth it. The Giants should expect 10 sacks from Pierre-Paul, anything else is just gravy. There isn’t any reason Pierre-Paul can’t be fairly successful this season. He is without a doubt the most talented pass rusher the Giants have.
It may behoove the Giants to use him as a pass rush specialist, at least in the beginning of the season. When pass rushing situations present themselves he would come into the game, rather than being constantly in the game. This would allow him to adjust faster back to football shape.
It is foreseeable that Pierre-Paul gives the best season of his career. Pierre-Paul has always been a light switch kind of player. When he is turns his best game on, he is unstoppable. When he just goes through the motions he is just above average. Motivation is always the key for Pierre-Paul. What could possibly be more motivating than nearly losing everything in a boneheaded accident?
It is more likely that Pierre-Paul struggles mightily in the first half of the season. That being said I think he will find his way. I think he gets at least 10 sacks and plays rather decently this season. His athletic ability and motivation will get Pierre-Paul on track.
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