Premium players at the defensive end position rarely hit the free agent market, and things won’t be different with New York Giants end Jason Pierre-Paul. Two years after being franchised by the Giants, the 28-year-old was tagged again, the team announced on Tuesday. He will make around $17 million if he plays under the tag in 2017.
Adam Schefter adds that the two sides will still try to reach a long-term deal before Wednesday:
Giants expected to use franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul by Wednesday if two sides cannot reach long-term deal by then, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2017
With 50 career sacks in seven seasons, Pierre-Paul has become the face of New York’s defense, even with superstars Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins entering the mix last season. After locking up those three guys to big deals last season, the Giants’ efforts to get JPP re-signed prove how important a player he is to the team’s defense.
It’s been nearly two years since Pierre-Paul’s fireworks accident and corresponding finger amputation, but the defensive end has battled his way back to pre-injury form. With seven sacks, three forced fumbles and eight pass deflections in only 12 games last season, it’s safe to say the standout defensive end has become priority No. 1 for New York.
The Giants will now look to sign Pierre-Paul to a long-term deal, nearly two years after they had originally planned on getting the deal done. In 2015, he hadn’t signed his tender before the accident so he wasn’t under contract when it happened. The Giants ended up withdrawing their long-term offer. They later signed him to a one-year deal that season, and again last year.
New York has until July 15 to get a deal done this year, but the team will likely try to get it done sooner rather than later, especially since Pierre-Paul made it clear he doesn’t want to play under a one-year contract again:
JPP says he's not signing a one-year deal this time. "I've done proved it ... There's not a guy like me doing it with 7 and a half fingers."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 9, 2017
With a healthy Pierre-Paul, the 2016 Giants improved from 30th to 14th in team sacks. More impressively, New York’s scoring D improved from 30th to second in the entire league, over the course of just one season. Retaining Pierre-Paul would maintain continuity on one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive lines.