Speaking to reporters earlier today, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin revealed that he had finally gotten in touch with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, adding that the two had a “good conversation,” according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. JPP, of course, hasn’t been with the club since injuring his hand in a fireworks incident a month ago, one that ultimately led to the amputation of his right index finger.
“He’s looking forward to coming,” Coughlin said. “He’s anxious to be here. But he’s not going to come until he feels like he’s ready to be able to play.”
It’s unclear when exactly that will be, obviously, as there has been little word as to the actual extent of Pierre-Paul’s injury and recovery. But recent reports have indicated that he is in good spirits and is confident that he will play at some point during the season — but again, whether that means he’ll be ready for Week 1, or at some point further down the road, is unknown.
What is known is that JPP has no intention of signing his franchise tag tender until he is physically able to contribute — as soon as he signs the offer, the Giants have the right to place him on the non-football injury list, which allows them to withhold his pay. As Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes, the mostly likely outcome involves Pierre-Paul and the team agreeing to a new contract altogether — one that would presumably pay him something close to the franchise tag figure, but probably a bit lower — at which point JPP will report to camp.
But for now, the entire situation remains clouded with uncertainty. “It could be whatever amount of time,” said Couglin when asked when he thought JPP might return. “I’m not even going to speculate.”
“There’ve been many people talking to him,” Coughlin continued. “He’s little by little tried to make his contacts. That is a positive thing. I was glad to hear his voice. He sounded good. He sounded interested, that he wanted to get back here.”