New York Giants Should Not Bring Back Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul is due to hit free agency this offseason, and although a decision to re-sign him is a difficult one, the New York Giants should pass on the opportunity and move on. (Photo Credit:


The New York Giants have a large swath of pending free agents this offseason. Among all those contributors, there is no more important decision the team has to make than the one to re-sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. When the free agency signing period opens next month, New York should let him walk. Pierre-Paul will not be worth the money he will cost to bring back.

After announcing that New York should let its best defensive player walk away, a caveat is necessary. If Pierre-Paul wants to accept a contract at less than market value to return to the Giants, by all means bring him back. However, with the assumption that JPP will garner well more per year than his $8.7 million salary hit from 2015 and will be looking for a long-term deal to boot, New York should pass.

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The reason is clear. Pierre-Paul is not healthy and may never be healthy enough again to produce at an elite pass-rushing level. With a cast on his disfigured hand this past season, the sixth-year pro recorded just one single sack all year. (He saw action in eight games.) Although defenses had to account for him, he couldn’t make a difference.

Now it is certainly possible that he will return to something approaching his 2014 level with an offseason to recover and prepare, but New York can’t bank on that. And if JPP wants a new, long-term deal, it is hardly fair for the team to take on that risk just because they hope he resembles his old self again down the line.

New York’s defense is too weak as it is to take on a risk with its best and possibly highest paid asset. The unit needs guaranteed production and reliable weapons. Pierre-Paul can’t offer any type of guarantee other than effort, and we saw this past season that he cannot produce at a Pro-Bowl level just because he may want to.

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The other side of this coin is that JPP’s value may be at its lowest it could possibly be right now. Signing him to a new deal right now, in the offseason between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, will be the best buy-low opportunity the Giants could have hoped for.

That is a plausible argument in another sport. Grabbing a former star coming off of a major injury who is healthy enough to play is smart business in something like baseball. In football, not so much. Players lose it so quickly in football even without a debilitating injury. One day, someone can be the best rusher in the sport. The next, he’s Dwight Freeney and can’t get snaps or he’s John Abraham and is out of the league entirely. The list goes on. The difference in talent between the everyday players and the bench players is so minuscule that guys are here one day and gone the next. That is the situation that Pierre-Paul is approaching head on. A team can’t offer a large, multi-year contract to that type of player.

New York will have a lot of work to do prior to the NFL Draft even if they re-up with Pierre-Paul. There are a lot of holes to fill on this team. However, it would be foolish to begin the offseason with a big splash that leaves more questions and concerns than answers. Signing Pierre-Paul would not be a linchpin move to the offseason. It would be a mistake.



Todd Salem is a Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, a Featured Columnist at College Sports Madness and an Analyst for Tipster Labs, among others. Follow him on Twitter.



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