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The New York Giants are getting a second look at Jason Pierre-Paul’s badly injured hand from a July 4 fireworks accident.
The team hasn’t seen Pierre-Paul since September, when the team decided he wasn’t fit to play football after having his right index finger amputated and losing part of his thumb during the accident.
As a result, Pierre-Paul, who was already in a contract stalemate with the Giants, hasn’t been around the team.
Now, the meeting is about to set up a potentially contentious three-week period that could decide the future of his career.
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus reports that Pierre-Paul has until November 17 to sign the one-year, $14.8 million franchise tender. From there, though, things get murkier. Hanzus writes:
Pierre-Paul has until Nov. 17 to sign the team’s one-year, $14.8 million franchise tender. If he doesn’t sign before that date, he won’t play this season. If the Giants rescind the tender, Pierre-Paul becomes an unrestricted free agent.
So why hasn’t Pierre-Paul signed the tender? A signed deal would give the Giants the opportunity to move him to the non-football injury list, a designation that could cost JPP millions. Both sides are maneuvering, set against the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty whether Pierre-Paul is still physically capable of playing football.
As ESPN’s Dan Graziano notes, Pierre-Paul’s best option might be to negotiate a contract that ensures the Giants won’t place him on the non-football injury list. In doing so, he’d likely have to take less money – something he wasn’t open to when he turned down a $60 million offer and the franchise tender in the summer, and something he wasn’t interested in when the Giants met him in September.
Now, it seems the Giants have all of the control. Graziano reports that Pierre-Paul felt he could play right away in September, but the Giants shot him down. They’re still likely to be cautious with him now, even if he feels he can contribute. As a result, the Giants can force his hand into taking less, just so he can ensure that if he signs the tender, he won’t put on the non-football injury list, essentially ending his season.
The next three weeks will be pivotal in deciding Pierre-Paul’s future. Not only could it decide his immediate future in regards to how he gets paid, but it could decide if he’s even able to play football again.