Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul won’t be playing on Sunday. More importantly, he won’t be earning more than $870,000 for the second straight week.
Based on some of his recent social-media postings, it’s clear that he thinks he’s ready. The fact that he’s not playing on Sunday shows that the Giants think he isn’t.
And here’s the inescapable reality. In deciding whether Pierre-Paul is ready to play, the Giants won’t be able to ignore that he’ll be making more than $870,000 per week once he is.
Passing a physical is a subjective thing. Pierre-Paul surely could find a doctor right now who would say he’s good to go. But the team’s doctors have yet to reach that conclusion.
And it would be naïve to assume that the decision made by doctors employed by the Giants won’t take into consideration the cost to the Giants of clearing Pierre-Paul. If the Giants aren’t going to get $870,000 worth of performance per week from Pierre-Paul, it’s better to pay him nothing to do nothing.
That’s why the best solution to this mess would be a new contract for 2015 that pays Pierre-Paul a reduced amount per week with the ability to make up the difference based on performance. Throw in a commitment not to use the franchise tag again in 2016, and that could be the best way for the Giants to get value and for Pierre-Paul to get a chance to prove that he can still play without an index finger and whatever other damage is depicted in those far-from-clear photos recently published by the New York Daily News.