It's truly a tragedy that it took losing a finger in a fireworks accident for Giants' defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to get a new outlook on life.

But sometimes it's better late than never.

In a tell-all interview with Sports Illustrated, the 27-year-old opened up about the life-altering accident that caused him to proclaim to doctors in the aftermath: "Whatever y'all do, do not cut my hand off."

"I look at things differently," Pierre-Paul told the magazine. "I try not to put myself in horrible situations anymore. I have a lot of people depending on me -- even people I didn't know depended on me."

Pierre-Paul recently had, what he calls successful surgery on the hand -- again -- and expects to be a key combatant for the Giants after receiving the franchise tag. 

The tag provides just one year of security for the defender and he knows this is an important year for his football career, but also in his life as he turns the page.

"I could dwell on it," he said. "I wish I had that finger, but when I look in the mirror, I'm happy. Thank the Lord -- it could have been worse."

Pierre-Paul recorded 42 sacks during his first five season with the Giants. He had just one in partial-season action in 2015.