Jason Pierre-Paul aka JPP
Pierre-Paul biggest highlight took place off the field and even before the season began when he seriously injured his right hand due to a fireworks accident at his home. He missed the first 8 games of the season and returned sporting a club around his hand as his right index finger was amputated.
The layoff and club noticeably affected JPP’s efficacy as he ended the season with 26 total tackles (5 assisted), 6 pass deflections and only one sack. A slow start notwithstanding, JPP did have standout games against the Jets, Panthers, and Eagles which accounted for 15 of his season’s tackles, 4 pass deflections and the sack.
Initially placed under the franchise tag, JPP was forced to revisit his contract after the accident. He signed a one year, incentive-heavy deal that had a ceiling of $8.7 million with $1.5 million guaranteed; he ended up earning $4.95 million.
Importantly, the deal allows the Giants to franchise Pierre-Paul again buying them time to decide whether they want to re-sign the defensive end to a longer term deal or let him test free agency.
As it stands, he is scheduled to become a free agent in March although the Giants have expressed interest in having him back but only if the price is right.
Untradeable: With free agency imminent, JPP is not going to be traded but could sign for another team. He was back at the doctor’s office immediately after the season ended indicating he’s still not 100% and it’s not sure if he ever will be.
JPP’s stock has undoubtedly fallen due to his health situation and limited, mixed in-season appearances meaning any team that does try to sign him will be taking a chance (as opposed to a risk). Having said that, there is always a market for a known commodity in the NFL and where Pierre-Paul plays next season may be determined by his asking price above all else.
2016 may yet be another transitory year for JPP as he looks to continue rehabbing his hand while playing out another short term contract, possibly under the Giants’ franchise tag. He still needs to prove to the Giants and the league that he can be an effective, productive pass rusher on an every down basis.
The Giants would probably be the best place for JPP to continue to ply his trade as he knows the coaches, system, and players. He can build off his shortened campaign last year and look to enter next year’s free agency with that big contract back as a viable option.