The New York Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul have ended their summer-long estrangement, with the star defensive end arriving in the New York area Monday to meet with his team, according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation. It is the first in-person meeting between JPP and the Giants since a fireworks incident on July 4 weekend resulted in the amputation of his index finger.
Pierre-Paul, who essentially had not communicated with the Giants since the incident this summer, met with coach Tom Coughlin, owner John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese to clear the air and discuss how to proceed.
Before he signs his contract, however, there will be negotiations between the two sides to arrive on a financial solution for a player who might miss some games because of his non-football injury. Pierre-Paul believes he can play early in the season, though it remains to be seen how much.
And while he hasn't talked with the team's brass, Pierre-Paul has been in contact with defensive line coach Robert Nunn, and the player's camp sent the Giants a training video recently to update them on where he is physically.
Pierre-Paul arrived from Florida at Newark Liberty International Airport at around 12:30 pm ET Monday, and the team met him at the gate to avoid a media circus. His hand was wrapped on the plane to prevent infection, taking every precaution after several procedures this summer. Flexibility and range-of-motion are improving.
The broken bones in his hand have healed, but he is expected to play with a cast on his hand, at least early on. He hopes to play early, perhaps missing a few games. But the question remains -- when will the Giants feel comfortable putting a cast on his hand and having him on the field?
How effective will he be when he does? According to someone who has been communicating with him regularly, rehab has gone well and he feels ready.
Then there is the contract issue. Pierre-Paul wants to avoid the reserve/non-football injury list, which would allow the Giants to dock his pay for six games (costing him $5.5 million). The Giants want to avoid paying him all $14.8 million, considering it was an off-the-field injury that likely will cause him to miss time.
They will try to find middle ground, renegotiating the one-year deal, perhaps to include performance incentives based on playing time. When they reach a deal, Pierre-Paul will be under contract and potentially available. Don't be surprised to see him act as a third-down pass-rusher when he gets back, before assuming a full-time role.