For the first time since being traded, Jason Pierre-Paul will face the New York Giants, and it’s safe to say he’s looking forward to it.
Pierre-Paul, now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, admitted he’s had the game circled on his calendar, and seemed to indicate that there’s still some lingering bitterness over how the team he came up with and had so much success with handled his departure.
JPP: "Honestly, I've had this game checked off since I got here. My emotions are running big. I'm coming, man."
It has been three years since Jason Pierre-Paul lost a large portion of his hand in a horrifying fireworks mishap, and the star defensive end is still trying to use his experience to educate others.
On Tuesday night, Pierre Paul shared some disturbing photos of his hand injury on Instagram as a public service announcement about “playing with fireworks.” Those who don’t have a strong stomach should stop here.
The NFL free agency frenzy has officially come and gone, and while there are still plenty of moves to be made, the noteworthy trades, signings, releases and tenders are all set in stone.
Free agency itself was as wild as ever, but the trade market was also far more active than usual. And as the result of both, a plethora of superstars have new homes heading into the 2018.
Here’s a look at 20 NFL players who will thrive with their new team.
20. Justin Pugh, OL, Arizona Cardinals
Behind Andrew Norwell, Nate Solder and one or two others, Justin Pugh was arguably the most talented offensive lineman available in free agency. The versatile Pugh proved himself to be a selfless team-first player with the Giants, shifting positions based on the team’s needs. He played both tackle and guard positions, and played relatively well at each. With some positional stability in Arizona, Pugh should excel so long as he can remain healthy.
Pierre-Paul signed a four-year, $62 million extension with the Giants last May. He has three years and nearly $40 million remaining on the deal, and New York will be taking a significant salary cap hit by unloading him.
Wow. Saves the Giants $12.5m in cash this year, but looks like only $2m in cap savings, as they have to take a $15m dead cap hit. Has three years, $39.5m left on his deal https://t.co/N3AxvJDqgT
Jason Pierre-Paul is dealing with an injury to the same hand he infamously mangled in a fireworks accident back in 2015, and he may end up having to wear a club again during games because of it.
After he missed practice earlier in the week with what the New York Giants called a finger injury, Pierre-Paul was spotted Friday with the middle finger on his right hand heavily wrapped. He told reporters he is playing Sunday but may have to bring back the club.
Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) “did a little bit” at practice today, but Steve Spagnuolo “isn’t 100% sure” he’ll play Sunday.
Jason Pierre-Paul has had to make some major adjustments since he mangled his hand in a fireworks accident nearly two years ago, and one of his former teammates feels the star defensive end has made them and then some.
Justin Tuck, who won a Super Bowl with Pierre-Paul when the two were teammates with the New York Giants, told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY that he feels Pierre-Paul is a better player now than he was three seasons ago.
“What I love about Jason is adversity hit with the accident and everybody kind of wrote him off,” Tuck said Monday. “I think he’s actually a better player now. And I say that from the perspective of he’s learning how to utilize all of his abilities. Whereas before I think he was more of a … one-trick pony is not the right word. I think he was relying on the one or two things that he did really, really well. I think now he’s become more of a complete player.”
Pierre-Paul recorded 16.5 sacks during the 2011 season, and he has not come close to that number since he lost his entire right index finger, a portion of his thumb and a portion of his middle finger. However, he did show a lot of promise last season with seven sacks in just 12 games. He was also one of the best in the game at pressuring the quarterback.
“What I love about him is just how his character has changed,” Tuck added. “How he’s focused, how he’s put things in perspective in his life. That bodes well for him. So yeah, I really feel confident in him being the leader going forward.”
The Giants feel Pierre-Paul can still be the same player he was pre-injury. They proved that when they signed the 28-year-old to a four-year, $62 million contract this offseason.
Jason Pierre-Paul says he has not agreed to a contract extension with the New York Giants, contrary to what the national NFL media reported on Friday.
Shortly after NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter — two of the best at what they do — reported that Pierre-Paul and the Giants have agreed to a four-year deal, Pierre-Paul took to Twitter to insist he has not signed anything.
What the heck is people talking about I ain't sign nothing.
Granted, agreeing to a deal and actually signing it are two different things, but you have to think there has been some sort of hold-up in the negotiations if Pierre-Paul went out of his way to issue a denial. Either that, or the star defensive end is angry that someone prematurely leaked the news.
The Giants used the franchise tag on Pierre-Paul earlier this offseason, but the goal has always been to sign him to a long-term extension. JPP played under a one-year “prove-it” deal in New York last year, and he recorded seven sacks in 12 games before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a sports hernia. The 28-year-old was among the best in the NFL at pressuring the quarterback.
Pierre-Paul is just two years removed from a gruesome fireworks accident that cost him a large portion of his hand. If he ends up playing under the franchise tag in 2017, he will earn approximately $17 million.