Giants remain hopeful on Jason Pierre-Paul, eye other free agents

Monday was the first day NFL teams could legally negotiate with the agents for free-agent players, and part of what happens on that day is that players get a better sense of what's out there and how it compares to what their current team is offering.

In the case of the New York Giants and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, clarity is likely in the coming days. The Giants have been talking to Pierre-Paul and his representatives for several weeks now in an attempt to get him to re-sign, and as of Monday evening there was still optimism that Pierre-Paul might return to the Giants for 2016.

So far, the Giants have only offered Pierre-Paul a one-year deal, trying to convince him that the team that drafted him in 2010 is the best place for him to prove he can make a full recovery from last July's fireworks accident. They've been in touch with Pierre-Paul's doctors on the topic of the surgery he had just after the season to try to improve the flexibility in his right middle finger so he can play without the heavy club wrap he wore in the second half of 2015. They believe he has something to offer, and they want him back.

The issue is whether some other team will make Pierre-Paul a better offer, and the coming days will determine that. At this point, indications are that other teams potentially interested in Pierre-Paul are hesitant to offer long-term deals as well, and the Giants remain hopeful that he will end up coming back to them. But that doesn't mean they're putting all of their eggs in that basket.

The Giants hosted free-agent defensive end Charles Johnson for a visit Sunday and Monday, though at this point in his career he's likely more of a complementary piece than anything else. They have expressed interest in Mario Williams, who visited Miami over the weekend, but they haven't yet set up a visit with him and he's expected to draw interest from Jacksonville and possibly other teams as well. They have expressed interest in several other free agents that can't sign until Wednesday, including defensive ends William Hayes, Derrick Shelby and Adrian Clayborn, and they are weighing the idea of making an offer to Dolphins transition player Olivier Vernon.

The Giants also are looking for help at safety and have expressed some interest in Rodney McLeod, among others. And they are poking around for offensive line help, with former Vikings guard Mike Harris one possibility to watch.

More to come in the coming days, but there's the update as I have it as Day 1 winds down.