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JPP breaks the Giants’ Bank

Jason Pierre-Paul scored a big payday, signing with the Giants for 4 years, $40M guaranteed, $62M total, and $66M with incentives.

It will not surprise regular readers of this NY Giants blog that we do not like the deal. It is way too much money for a player who literally peaked in 2011. Yes, 2011. If JPP was a young 28 year old who did not have all of the wear and tear, I could maybe understand the logic of the deal. As we explained previously, his best play is behind him, not in front of him. He is oft-injured. The Giants needed to spend their money elsewhere, namely in keeping Eli upright via the Offensive Line. Instead they invested in the past.

JPP is a very good player. I like him more for his run defense now than his pass rush. He was paid today to get to the Quarterback. I really truly hope I am wrong, but he does not have the same pass rush as he used to have. The Giants paid top dollar for someone who had 7 sacks in 11 games.

UltimateNYG analyst Wonder: “This contract is insane. If I am going to overpay, I would overpay for Zeitler so that he makes a difference on the Offensive Line. It is all about the Offensive Line. Reese would rather pay a guy with one hand than a position of need and more future.”

Once you get out of East Rutherford and stop listening to the regurgitation of the beat writers, you can establish some objectivity. Here is some perspective from Bill Barnwell of ESPN:

Grade C. The Giants paid full freight. The $15.5 million per year average seems excessive given Pierre-Paul’s level of production. Even in what felt like a resurgent year, Pierre-Paul had a modest seven sacks in 12 games. He has improved as a run defender — the days when he would look flummoxed when teams read him on option plays are mostly gone — but we are talking about a player who has just 29 combined sacks over his past five seasons.

Injuries have impacted those totals, which is the other argument against locking JPP up for the long term. Nobody could have foreseen that Pierre-Paul would suffer serious hand injuries in a fireworks accident, but JPP also missed the final four games of 2015 with a hernia and underwent back surgery in 2013.

The Giants are All-In for 2017. Their hopes rest with Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari. That unit is the weakest link. The problem with this JPP contract is that it mortgages up the future (if it wasn’t already mortgaged before today). Eli is in his twilight. He’s got a few years left to play at a high enough level to win a title. OBJ’s rookie contract is going to get renegotiated sometime in the next 12-18 months, ballooning the cap. The contracts of Vernon, Jenkins, and Harrison will escalate as well. Now we add JPP’s tens of millions. Something’s gotta give. The Giants need to win right now. They can win in 2017, but they certainly need a lot more than 7 sacks from JPP. They need a consistent pass rush from him, the kind of dominating effort we have not seen in a long while. And of course the Giants need much better OL play.

The Giants fans who see the upside do not care about the money because it is there to be spent. I am the one to tell you that it matters. Last year the Giants overpaid for the services of 3 players who ended up making a terrific impact and justifying those inflated salaries. Barely. The cost comes due the following year when the Giants still need help and no longer have the cap to do very much. The Brandon Marshall signing was spectacular in comparison. Marshall, to juxtapose, will make $4.5M in 2017 and has a total of $5M guaranteed. That kind of price does not block out the sun. It allows for other players to get signed. The JPP contract, on the other hand, restricts what the Giants can do elsewhere. The cost for his services matters. This is why the urgency is on the team to win right now.