Last season’s free agency period was a vital priority for the New York Giants, and it certainly has not changed this year. General Manager Jerry Reese went out and bought his new defense that worked out tremendously. However, this year, Reese’s main concern will be keeping his key players on the roster.
One of them is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
The seven-year Giants veteran has stated that he will not sign a franchise tag, or another one-year deal after his miraculous comeback season this past year.
“I’ve proved it. I’ve showed it,” Pierre-Paul stated when asked about his contract situation. “There’s not really a guy like me out here doing it with 7.5 fingers.”
JPP finished the season with 53 combined tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 12 games. He certainly deserves a new contract, but what does he have in mind?
Well, he is thinking along the lines of the deal his new teammate, DE Olivier Vernon, received this past offseason. Reese awarded Vernon with a five year, $85 million deal with $52.5 million guaranteed, and Pierre-Paul believes he deserves at least that.
Of course, JPP wants to stay with Big Blue as he has said “I would love to be here…This is all I know.” But, Reese has others to worry about with new contracts like DT Johnathon Hankins and LB Keenan Robinson. If it is true JPP is looking for such a deal, Reese may very well flake on signing the 28-year-old lineman.
Looking at the big picture, it wouldn’t make sense for the Giants to sign JPP to a long-term contact of that magnitude considering what key pieces the Giants still need to sign in the future as well. WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s rookie contract is set to expire next year, and the Giants will be sure to give him a max deal considering his star status. As for next year, if the Giants defense wants to continue its dominant run of 2016, signing back as many starters as you can is key which is why the Giants shouldn’t write that check to Pierre-Paul.
If Reese decides to go with this option, though, JPP may be out of New York as many teams are looking for pass rushers, like the Dallas Cowboys for example, that have cap space to spend.
The free agency period will officially kick off on March 9, but hopefully the Giants and JPP can figure out a plan by then before he truly hits the market.