After recently finding out that Jason Pierre-Paul had to have his right index finger amputated, the New York Giants must act swiftly.
By Robby Sabo
The feeling of anger in sports fandom is more prevalent these days than ever.
It’s easy to see why. When the working stiff is sitting on I-80 West heading out of the city to escape that 9-5 desk-job that pays roughly $50,000 per year, he’s staring at gum on the asphalt because traffic has yet again ruined his afternoon.
He wonders if he’ll ever find that big payday.
Then, while chugging down a bottle of Advil while stuck in this misery of a road jam-packed with cars, he turns on his local sports radio station to hear yet another professional athlete holding out for millions.
The average stiff simply cannot wrap his head around the fact anyone slated to make millions would put himself in a situation to lose a finger. For if the “average stiff” had that opportunity, he’d place himself in bubble wrap to prevent those career threatening disasters.
It turns out – after Giants brass left Florida without seeing their man – Pierre-Paul’s injuries are far worse than originally expected.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, JPP did, indeed, have his right index finger amputated after a 4th of July fireworks mishap:
ESPN obtained medical charts that show Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today. pic.twitter.com/VI5cbS1uCw
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2015
How Schefter wound up snagging his medical records are a completely different story, but for the Giants, this is serious. Not serious in the sense that JPP can’t play football without nine-fingers, but serious because the man put himself in this situation to begin with.
On top of it, he didn’t allow the Giants to see them as they headed to Florida to meet and greet the 26-year old six-year veteran.
The first thing general manager Jerry Reese needs to do is get on his knees and pray. Thank the heavens and his lucky stars that he didn’t offer JPP a serious, multi-year extension – a $60 million dollar offer that reportedly now been pulled off the table.
What’s rough about Reese’s situation is this: cutting ties with JPP now – and pulling the Franchise Tag which hasn’t officially been signed with – would then destroy one of the Giants top assets.
There’s no question $14.813 million is a lot of money. But it’s money that won’t go anywhere else for this upcoming season. Because this situation developed so late in the offseason, the Giants have nowhere to turn.
There are no free agents to sign, nor players to trade for that’ll fill that money under the salary cap JPP’s exit would open up.
They can’t make a stand against stupidity by cutting ties, and it goes without saying that they can’t commit long-term with the guy who’s collected 42 sacks in his career and serves as the face of the defense.
The only option is to wait it out.
Take time to allow JPP to continue this absurdity of avoiding the franchise until he caves (which is imminent due to the money factor).
Then, franchise him for this coming season and hope he delivers some type of productivity.
On the other hand, these are the Giants. This is the franchise that prides itself on collecting the right type of talent, not just talent alone.
In his short five-year career, Pierre-Paul has provided enough evidence of the boneheaded variety that the Giants rescinding the Franchise Tag would send a message that will reverberate throughout the entire league that “plays for pay.”
Furthermore, what will they be truly missing?
This guy truly hasn’t been the same player since his breakout season of 2011 that saw him collect 16.5 sacks and be named first-team All-Pro. His totals of 4.5, 6.5, 2 and 12.5 during his other campaigns have been marred with injury concerns and serious lack of desire questions.
Everything about him the last few seasons has screamed anything but a great, hardworking talent.
If Giants fans had to witness another quarterback burn this man on his edge of a read-option one more time in 2014, I think the Brooklyn Bridge would have been a busy place.
Now, instead of ramping up for a furious offseason that’ll get his career back on track, he decided to blow his finger off.
The choice will be the Giants to make.
Whether it’s next offseason (after a disappointing JPP 2015), or now (making a huge statement), JPP is not long for the Giants organization.
His actions don’t directly correlate with the “Giants Way.”
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