The Giants are left with no choice. They need to ride it out with Jason Pierre-Paul. As his fireworks accident story developed last week and we got some clarity as to the extent of his injuries, there was a thought that the Giants should rescind their franchise tender to JPP, thus making him a free agent. I would be surprised if that thought ever gained any real traction within the Giants' offices in New Jersey.
The Giants need JPP this year. They do not have the depth of pass rushers that they once had. He is coming off of a season in which he had 12.5 sacks. Giants owner John Mara put everyone on notice after last year, saying he expects this team to win in 2015. They brought back Steve Spagnuolo to be their defensive coordinator and his defense, like all defenses, is predicated on pressure. In other words, JPP is irreplaceable. When you take a look at the depth chart for the Giants at defensive end, gone are the likes of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. You now see the names Damontre Moore, Robert Ayers and George Selvie. With all due respect, all three of those individuals will not strike fear in the hearts of offenses across the NFL. So the talk that JPP is going to be released is just hot air, unless it becomes apparent that he can no long play, of course. With what we know now, that is not the case. It is being reported that doctors have told JPP that the six-week recovery time for the fractured thumb is the longest recovery time for any of his injuries. That says a lot since we know he had his right index finger amputated.
He now begins that recovery process with the hope of being back on the field for the Giants' season opener on Sept. 13. He did not give the Giants' contingent of Ronnie Barnes and Jessie Armstead an audience when they flew to Florida last Tuesday because he was protecting himself. You have to believe there was nothing different the Giants doctors were going to tell JPP as compared to the doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital. I am sure the Giants have felt a full range of emotions as this story developed and they should have initially felt anger. That is to be expected. But now it is about hope for the Giants. Hope that their best defensive player is able to heal and get back on the football field. Hope that he can be the game wrecker that he has shown himself to be at different points in his career. Hope that he can physically and emotionally be able to recover from this life changing experience.
It is a $14.8 million dollar gamble that the Giants are taking. But in all honesty, a gamble requires a choice. I don’t believe the Giants have a choice. They need him and he needs them. This is not the time for the Giants to try and teach JPP a lesson when I am sure that lesson has already been learned. He made a mistake and will pay a heavy price for the rest of his life.
He will play football again and he will play for the Giants.