Jason Pierre-Paul is in a bad situation but it is very much a situation that he put himself into. I am not talking about his self-inflicted injury that happened on the fourth of July in a fireworks accident; I am referencing the cold and calculated decision to keep the Giants organization in the dark.
According to a NY Daily News report by Ebenezer Samuel, Pierre-Paul hasn’t disclosed almost any information to the Giants about his condition. This is John Mara’s quote from Samuel’s column:
"“I don’t know how many fingers he has,” Mara added. “We know what we have read and what we have been told, but until we actually see the extent of the damage, it is hard to make any type of prediction as to what type of condition he is going to be in.”"
That is a frustrating piece of information. The owner of the New York Football Giants literally has the same information about his defensive end as we do. That is simply unfathomable and unacceptable. This is a bad move by Pierre-Paul.
In his precarious position, Pierre-Paul wants to protect himself. That is perfectly understandable and any of us would try to make the best decision for our self interests. It isn’t easy facing the mortality of your NFL career, especially when you expected to have a long career still in front of you.
The problem is that it is in Pierre-Paul’s best interest to be not only transparent with the Giants, but also cooperative. The Giants are an organization that is respected as one of the best teams to play for. There is no vicious agenda on the part of Mara, Steve Tisch, Jerry Reese or Tom Coughlin. The Giants want to continue to have a mutually beneficial relationship with Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul has put himself on an island and he hasn’t told the Giants when he is coming back to reality. It remains unknown if Pierre-Paul can even play (though there is sufficient evidence that suggest he will return to the football field this season. The Giants are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Pierre-Paul owes it to himself to protect his career but he also owes the organization some honesty. That’s not even a football thing, that’s a life thing. How can anybody take Pierre-Paul seriously unless he steps up to his situation and handles it like a professional?
If Pierre-Paul’s goal is to get back on the football field and salvage his career, he has to fix his relationship with the Giants. He has to fix his relationship with Mr. Mara, and especially with coach Coughlin. Above all else Pierre-Paul has to earn the trust of his teammates.
The Giants have a reputation for helping their players through tough times. There is not even a slithery fraction of a doubt that the Giants are willing to stand by Pierre-Paul and that they are willing to get him through this ordeal. There isn’t a single doubt about it. Yet Pierre-Paul remains secretive, hiding crucial information from his employer.
This isn’t how you handle a tough situation. It is hard not to feel a bit of sympathy for Pierre-Paul. This is undoubtedly as tough physically for him as it is mentally and emotionally, but it isn’t an excuse.
At some point Pierre-Paul has to meet the team half way and cooperate. Otherwise the team may be better off parting ways with Pierre-Paul.