EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Working away down in Florida while the New York Giants prepare for their Week 2 game against the Falcons, injured Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did some thinking out loud Thursday morning on Twitter:
I can't think of the last time my index finger got me a sack 😉— iamjasonpierrepaul (@UDWJPP) September 17, 2015
Pierre-Paul, as most of you likely know by now, lost his right index finger in a July Fourth fireworks accident that resulted in severe damage to his hand that has kept him from rejoining the Giants. He met with team officials on Sept. 7 and allowed team medical personnel to examine his hand for the first time since the accident. At that time, he volunteered to play if the team could figure out a way to protect the hand during a game.
But the Giants weren't satisfied that he could play with the hand in its current condition, so he went home and they agreed to meet again in a few weeks.
Pierre-Paul has been training near his Florida home with former Oklahoma coach John Blake, working on pass-rush technique as he improves his strength and rehabs the hand after two months' worth of surgical procedures. It's clear that Pierre-Paul believes he can play again this season, likely soon, and the tweet Thursday seems to express that belief.
But as long as the Giants disagree, there's a stalemate here that's unlikely to be resolved soon. Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his $14.813 million franchise tender because of the possibility that once he signs it, the Giants would put him on the non-football injury list, ending his season and allowing them to refuse to pay him. Each week that goes by takes $871,352.94 off that salary number, which gives the Giants financial and salary-cap relief.
The Giants offered to discuss reducing Pierre-Paul's salary and bring him back to rehab with them, but that was a nonstarter for Pierre-Paul, who wants to be paid at the franchise number because he believes he'll play this season and then be in position to hit free agency with some leverage next spring.
The Giants right now do not believe he can play at a level that justifies a salary of $871,352.94 per week, so he is staying away and working optimistically until that changes.