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Jason Pierre-Paul a candidate for Giants' franchise tag

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The New York Giants aren't going to allow impending free agent Jason Pierre-Paul to play in another uniform next season.

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Negotiations between the two sides have not yet begun, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via a source informed of the situation.

Whether or not discussions pick up at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, the Giants have no intention of losing their top defensive player to free agency. That leaves Pierre-Paul as a strong candidate for the franchise tag, per Rapoport.

After the season, co-owner John Mara stated that he would be "very surprised" if Pierre-Paul is not back with the Giants.

Pierre-Paul, 26, experienced a bounce-back season in 2014, recording 12.5 sacks with strong run defense.

"The second half of the season, he came on really strong and played like we thought he should play," general manager Jerry Reese said after the season. "The guy has some ability to be a game changer. We didn't see enough of that in the first half of the season."

The franchise tag would cost the Giants roughly $15 million for the 2015 season. More importantly, it would buy the organization another year to build confidence in Pierre-Paul's ability to avoid injuries and continue to wreck offensive lines.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews this week's NFL Scouting Combine with Bucky Brooks. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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