In the aftermath of Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks injury, we explained that his best move would be to wait to sign his franchise tender until he’s cleared to play. On Friday, ESPN reported that Pierre-Paul indeed intends to do just that.
It’s Pierre-Paul’s best move because, if he signs the tender before Week One, the Giants can place Pierre-Paul on the non-football injury list to start the regular season, which will shut him down for at least six weeks — during which time the Giants can choose not to pay him, keeping more than $870,000 per week in cash and cap space. But the Giants also could promise to pay Pierre-Paul the full $14.8 million as an inducement to get him to sign the tender sooner than later. That would get him into the building, rehabbing and working out under the direction of the team and ensuring both sides are on the same page as to when he plays.
A source with knowledge of the situation told PFT earlier in the week that, indeed, Pierre-Paul would show up by Week One if the Giants agree to pay him regardless of whether he’s on the NFI list. Without that, JPP has nothing to gain by signing the tender before he’s cleared to play.
Even if Pierre-Paul waits until he’s cleared, there’s a chance that Giants will disagree with the assessment of Pierre-Paul’s doctors, setting the stage for a disagreement (and a grievance) over whether the Giants properly determined that Pierre-Paul isn’t healthy enough to play. That’s why the best outcome continues to be a negotiated solution between player and team.
And the easiest (but perhaps most expensive) resolution would be an agreement by the Giants to pay Pierre-Paul his full salary if he signs the tender and shows up before, for example, the start of training camp.
At a minimum, Pierre-Paul and the Giants should be on the same page as to when he’s cleared, so that he’ll know with confidence that, when he shows up, he’ll instantly start collecting this $870,000 weekly checks.