The bond between the New York Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul has all but, been severed til this point thus far this off-season. The fireworks incident that led to Paul’s right index finger to be amputated has put a halt to any future contract talks. So is this some foreshadowing to Paul’s future departure? Paul hasn’t been the same player since his Super Bowl run in 2011 when he total 16.5 sacks. He has totaled 21 sacks for the three seasons that followed combined. Paul’s value was already on the decline after back injures and sub-par play but this incident has drastically plummeted his stock even further. Finger or no finger JPP will play this season and it will be for the Giants. Once he signs that franchise tender it might as well symbolize divorce papers because next season should be his last with them unless he has Justin Houston type production.
If he hits the market next season I can definitely see Bill Belichick kicking the tires on this once great player because keep in mind he is still young at only 26 years old. He won’t be 27 until the 2016-2017 season and it’s very common for Belichick to do these redemption projects. Paul has struggles staying available for all 16 games for the past few seasons so joining Belichick’s new revamped defensive line would do well for him. He would join the likes of Chandler Jones, Jabaal Sheard, Dominique Easley, 2015 first round pick Malcom Brown, and Rob Ninkovich whom he could ultimately replace if he returns to his old self. The strong rotation will keep him fresh and keep him from getting injured with too many reps. He can play inside and outside on the edge. We all know Belichick loves versatility as everyone else plays checkers the hood plays chess with his defense. Granted JPP has lost a finger and it could hinder him a bit but, I would’ve been more concerned if he lost a thumb. All fingers are appreciated equally don’t get me wrong, but as a pass rusher he needs his thumbs to secure his grip on jerseys as he disengages from linemen to pursue quarterbacks. As long as he can still perform fundamental technique he will be fine.
The best bet for the Patriots to get him would probably be a mid-season trade before the deadline. He may start slow which can cause pressure to build up and as long as the Giants are willing to pull the trigger I’m sure Belichick can get him. Thus allowing him a chance at a fresh start, on a winning team, and could follow the same redemption path as Aqib Talib to bigger dollars. Worst case scenario I can see him hitting the market next spring and signing with the Patriots on a one year prove it type of deal. Then ultimately leaving a year later because he wants more money than what Bill is willing to offer as usual.