The New York Giants assured Jason Pierre Paul will return to Big Blue next season, but the chances of a long term deal seem remote, after JPP was hit with the franchise tag this week.
The franchise tag, worth about $16.9 million will guarantee that JPP will remain with the Giants in 2017, and allow Big Blue more time to work out a long term contract. If no deal is reached, Pierre Paul will have a one year deal with the Giants. Pierre Paul is allowed to shop himself to other teams, but the Giants have every right to match that contact.
The problem the Giants face is that Pierre Paul feels he deserves a multi-year deal. Coming off the 4th of July hand injury he suffered in 2014, he improved by leaps and bounds with the use of really one hand last season, when he recorded seven sacks, three forced fumbles and 53 tackles.
At the same time, the $17 million the Giants would commit to Pierre Paul on a franchise tag would hamper their off-season plans regarding free agency. And this is a team in desperate need of fixing its offensive line and running game.
So there is an impass. The Giants know how important Pierre Paul is, but they don't seem willing to meet his contract demands. In a way the Giants position is understandable. Pierre Paul isn' the 12.5 sack master he was back in 2014, before the injury. Since the injury it has been a slow progression back to full strength. Had Pierre Paul never blow his hand off, there would be no discussion here, and the Giants would have committed to him a long time ago.
Times are changing. The Giants have money wrapped up in the contracts they signed last off-season, and they have plenty of needs this year. If they can keep Pierre Paul for one more year, even at $17 million, its a bonus.
This will be a drama to watch over the course of the next few months as we head toward the draft, and mini-camp.