The move gives the Giants more time to negotiate with Pierre-Paul instead of him hitting the free agency market on March 10.
The non-exclusive player tag allows the defensive end to sign with another team, but the Giants would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation from the team Pierre-Paul would go to.
The sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. If a deal is not reached by then, the six-year veteran is locked into the one-year contract for $14.813 million and will become a free agent again next year.
With the release of Mathias Kiwanuka, JPP becomes the Giants’ longest-tenured defensive lineman.
New York has been concerned about Pierre-Paul’s health after suffering from injury issues in 2012 and 2013. The 2010 first-round pick only played 11 games in 2013 and contributed a career low 27 tackles.
However, with a consistent, dominant and healthy 2014 season under his belt, the Giants’ skepticism could be put to rest.
In 2014, the 6-foot-5, 278-pounder, made a major comeback leading the team with 12.5 sacks. Nine of those sacks were in the final five games of the season. The defensive end had a team-leading 21 quarterback hits.
Pierre-Paul led Big Blue with three forced fumbles and recovered one of them. His pass rushing ability is also one of the best in the league.
Pro Football rankings has JPP ranked second for free agent defensive ends.
Since the sides have not reached an agreement, Pierre-Paul is technically not under contract. He would not have to attend any of the team’s mandatory offseason workouts.
Pierre-Paul’s $14.813 million would also not officially count towards the Giants’ salary cap. As of Monday, the team had $25,608,930 in cap space. If the organization were to sign the defensive end, that number would drop tremendously to $10,795,930.
The Giants are still looking for ways to free up some of their cap space. They started by releasing center J.D. Walton and could be looking to modify contracts with linebackers Jameel McClain and Jon Beason.