Pending free agent Jason Pierre-Paul is unlikely to return to the Giants for a seventh season, a league source tells Kristian R. Dyer of USA Today.
“[A]ll signs point toward the Giants letting Pierre-Paul test free agency,” the source stated, adding, “as of right now he isn’t going to be returning.”
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Pierre-Paul has been one of Big Blue’s fiercest defenders since they drafted him 15th overall in 2010. The 27-year-old end totaled 42 sacks from 2010-14, including a career-high 16.5 during the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning campaign in 2011. However, his career took a terrible turn last summer when he lost his right index finger thanks to a July 4 fireworks accident. The Giants withdrew a $60MM contract offer for Pierre-Paul afterward, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, and he refused to report to the team and its doctors for several weeks while recovering.
The two sides ultimately patched up their differences enough for Pierre-Paul to come back and play the 2015-16 season for $7.35MM, a steep drop-off from the $14.8MM he would have made as their franchise player.
Pierre-Paul returned to the field in November and ended up appearing in eight games, registering 26 tackles and a personal-low one sack. Despite his statistical decline, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) still ranked Pierre-Paul a solid 30th out of 91 qualifying edge rushers. The site remained impressed with his pass-rushing ability, though it gave him a poor grade against the run. He clearly disagrees in regards to the latter, having stated in December that, “I think I play the run better than I play the pass.”
Pierre-Paul also expressed a desire before the season ended to finish his career with the Giants, but the chances of that happening now appear low. While JPP should garner plenty of interest as a free agent from teams in need of an edge rusher, it remains to be seen if he’ll end up with a deal anywhere near the one the Giants were willing to give him prior to his accident.
Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.