Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ex-Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul could extend career at AFC: report

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The one that got away.

Former New York Giants All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul visited the Baltimore Ravens on June 9th per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The Giants selected Pierre-Paul in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. He advanced to the first-team All-Pro in 2011 and won two Pro Bowl nominations during his time in New York. However, his greatest accomplishment was guiding the Giants to their fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history in the 2011-12 season.

Ex-general manager Jerry Reese, who drafted Pierre-Paul, signed him to a four-year, $62 million contract extension ahead of the 2017 regular season. However, after a 3-13 campaign that year, Reese was fired and replaced by another ex-GM in Dave Gettleman.

Shortly after arriving, Gettleman traded Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2018 NFL regular season to hand over his bloated salary. The Giants received a third-round pick from Tampa in which they were issued later that spring to defensive end BJ Hill, whom they eventually traded to the Cincinnati Bengals in August 2021.

Pierre-Paul proved the Giants’ decision to let him go was a mistake by amassing 33 sacks from 2018-2021. He also picked up another ring and helped the Buccaneers capture Super Bowl LV.

The 33-year-old has endured a poor season in which he has recorded just 2.5 sacks in 12 games. He also had shoulder surgery off-season and is getting older. Pierre-Paul’s two-year extension with the Buccaneers expired after the 2021 season, and he remains available in the free-agent market.

The Ravens have $5.58 million in salary cap space, per Over The Cap. If Pierre-Paul is willing to take a discount, he could potentially extend his career by joining a talented front seven in Baltimore.

As impressive as Pierre-Paul’s track record has been, it comes with a somewhat bumpy injury history.

On July 4, 2015, Pierre-Paul suffered an unusual fireworks accident in which he broke off part of his finger and later had to amputate it. Somehow, miraculously, he was able to make a comeback in the second half of the 2015 season, appearing in eight games for the Giants with a massive racket in hand.

Pierre-Paul later underwent more surgeries and was given a special glove to wear during the game, which allowed him to lose the racquet. This helped him have seven sacks and 16 quarterback hits in 2016 as the Giants made the playoffs for the first time since winning the Super Bowl in 2011. Unfortunately, Pierre-Paul missed the Giants’ blowout loss in the NFC Wild Card round due pending surgery at the end of the season to repair a sports fracture.

Fast forward to May 2019 where Pierre-Paul suffered another life/career threatening accident. Pierre-Paul was involved in a car accident that resulted in a broken neck. It also turned out that the pass rusher was not wearing a seat belt. After missing the first six games of the 2019 regular season, Pierre-Paul returned to the Buccaneers to post 8.5 sacks that year. The following season, he helped them win a Super Bowl.

For the first time since picking Pierre-Paul 15th overall in the 2010 NFL draft, the Giants picked another young, exciting edge rusher in this year’s draft, picking Kayvon Thibodeaux 5th overall.

Thibodeaux will have similar expectations to Pierre-Paul, whose tenure with the Giants hasn’t exactly been the smoothest but has included some great stat seasons and a Super Bowl title.

Thibodeaux is already being mentored by another former Giants defensive end in Hall of Famer Michael Strahan. It would certainly be interesting to see the team bring JPP back to mentor Thibodeaux as a teammate. Talk about a moment when it comes full circle.

In fact, the Giants have even more cap space than the Ravens, $6.22 million per over the cap. However, it still seems like the money is being spent elsewhere, with more pressing needs at the cornerback and along the offensive line.

In fact, the Giants have even more cap space than the Ravens, $6.22 million per over the cap. However, it still seems like the money is being spent elsewhere, with more pressing needs at the cornerback and along the offensive line.



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