Training camp for the New York Giants is getting underway, but the number one story on everyone’s docket has nothing to do with any of the players who are currently participating in workouts. That’s because of the drama that ensued with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul earlier in the summer.
Around July 4 weekend, Pierre-Paul was involved in a fireworks accident that left him with a severely injured hand. Reports out of Florida said that the defensive end had a finger amputated, but the Giants won’t know for sure until they see him for themselves. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening yet due to Pierre-Paul’s refusal to sign his one-year franchise contract worth nearly $15 million.
“I’m disappointed he’s not here,” said Giants president John Mara, “I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of different reasons. He would have the opportunity to learn the defense, but more importantly, we have the best training staff in the league here. We have access to some of the best doctors in the world, and I think it would be in his best interest to be here for those reasons. As I said the other day, it’s unfortunate he’s not here. I don’t think he’s receiving the best advice. That’s sad as far as I am concerned.”
It’s hard to argue that Pierre-Paul wouldn’t be better prepared for the upcoming season if he were present at training camp, but the 26-year-old has his own financial interests at stake. If he signs the tender and is later forced to miss regular season games because of the injury, Pierre-Paul could miss out on some of his paychecks. Therefore, he isn’t likely to sign the deal and report to camp until he’s confident that he’ll be healthy enough to contribute early in the season.
The problem is that the Giants won’t know how healthy Pierre-Paul is until he reports to camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“None of our people have been able to see him or examine him, so we have no idea what type of condition he is in,” said Mara. “All we know is what some of his people have told us, but until we see him for ourselves, that doesn’t give us any comfort.”
So the Giants will have to start camp without their most effective defensive player from 2014. Even though he won’t be on the field, Pierre-Paul will likely continue to be the center of attention throughout August.
“I think we have to plan on moving ahead without him at this point,” said Mara. “Until we see him and make some sort of determination on the condition he is in, I don’t see how we can count on him, certainly not for the opening of the season.”