As expected, the Giants have officially used their franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Steve Serby of the New York Post first reported last month that the club would use the non-exclusive franchise tag on JPP if no long-term deal was reached, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirmed as much last week.
Although Pierre-Paul got off to a slow start in 2014, he finished strong, and his 77 tackles and 12.5 sacks were his best totals since he was a First-Team All-Pro in 2011. The South Florida product – who turned 26 on Saturday – ranked as the seventh-best 4-3 defensive end in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required).
Word of the Giants’ decision to officially place the franchise tag on Pierre-Paul comes on the heels of the NFL’s announcement of this year’s $143.28MM, which solidified the franchise tag amounts. As a defensive end, JPP will be in line for a one-year tender of $14.813MM, though he won’t necessarily sign that offer immediately.
As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets, the Giants and Pierre-Paul are expected to continue working on a multiyear deal, with the hopes of agreeing on something more long-term. Such an agreement would give the 26-year-old some long-term security, and would allow the team to reduce his cap hit for 2015, creating additional flexibility.
Of course, the non-exclusive tag means Pierre-Paul will also have the opportunity to explore the open market when free agency officially begins next week. However, any team interested in signing him would have to do so via an offer sheet, rather than signing him outright. And if the Giants chose not to match that offer sheet, Pierre-Paul’s new team would have to part with two first-round picks. As such, it’s unlikely that he’ll play anywhere besides New York next season.
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