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Coughlin wants Jason Pierre-Paul to retire as a Giant

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Giants pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul stands out as an ideal franchise tag candidate this offseason, but his head coach sounds like he's interested in something far more long-term.

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When asked about the tag, Coughlin said he wants the 26-year-old to "play as a Giant forever and retire as a Giant. How that works out is a different issue."

Pierre-Paul, because of his age and past production, should come in at the top of a loaded free agency class despite being less than two years removed from significant back surgery.

The Giants will have an estimated $18 million to work with this offseason, according to league records, which gives them the flexibility of absorbing the large cap hit or signing a long-term deal which could defer some of the bigger chunks of Pierre-Paul's money.

Over the long term, of course, it makes much more sense for the Giants to wait. Pierre-Paul is still maturing and still recovering from a back issue that some players never fully come back from. He's also sprinkled in some shoulder trouble over the last year and a half that he needed rehabilitation for. That being said, the team is finally seeing the signs of maturity they're looking for. Pierre-Paul is taking to a veteran role that has been occupied by former franchise greats like Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan.

The tag will provide much more of a comfort level and give them an idea of what player Pierre-Paul will eventually be. Pierre-Paul will also be motivated amid another contract season.

Some other notes from Coughlin:

» Coughlin is currently on the last year of his contract. Around this time last year, the team announced a 1-year extension that wouldn't force Coughlin to be a lame duck. This year, Coughlin said talks on his future are "underway."

"I think that part of it is underway," he said. "Hopefully shortly you'll have more information on that."

Coughlin's contract, or lack thereof, will speak volumes about the future of the organization. At the moment, Coughlin, Eli Manning and the coaching staff all have contracts that expire after the 2015 season.

» Coughlin said that he's never seen a player more interested in making his team better than Antrel Rolle. But as far as bringing the 32-year-old safety back in free agency? The team would like to, but "obviously we do have financial restrictions."

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