Feb 212015
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (September 14, 2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul Have Not Talked Contract: According to NJ.com and ESPN.com, the New York Giants and representatives of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul have not begun talking about a new contract. Pierre-Paul is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 10 (players can actually begin talking to new teams on March 7).

Media speculation continues that the Giants will designate Pierre-Paul the team’s Franchise player, which the Giants can do during a two-week period from February 16 to March 2. By doing so, Pierre-Paul is all but certain to remain a Giants through the 2015 NFL season. He could play out the year on the near $15 million tender or still possibly sign a long-term deal.

“We are convinced that we want (Pierre-Paul) back, without a doubt,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Thursday. “There has been a lot of different discussions, and hopefully he is going to remain a Giant…The goal is for him to be a Giant and play as a Giant forever, and retire as a Giant. How that works out is another issue.”

Free Agent Rumors: According to ESPN.com, the New York Giants have expressed interest in re-signing soon-to-be unrestricted free agents cornerback Walter Thurmond and defensive tackle Mike Patterson.

ESPN.com is also reporting that soon-to-be unrestricted free agent safety Antrel Rolle is looking for a bigger contract than the Giants are willing to offer.

“Certainly we would like him to come back. Obviously we do have financial restrictions involved,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin of Rolle on Thursday.

Salary Cap Expected to Be Near $143-145 Million: According to press reports, the 2015 NFL salary cap is expected to be near $143-145 million, which would be a $10-12 million increase over the 2014 NFL salary cap.

Article on the New York Giants and the NFL Combine: An updated list of players visiting with the Giants at the 2015 NFL Combine by Nick Powell for NJ.com

BBI on CBS Sports Radio (940 AM) on Sunday: BBI’s owner Eric Kennedy will be on CBS Sports Radio’s GameFace this Sunday at 9:20 AM on 940 AM in the NY/CT market and on www.940sportsradio.com. GameFace is America’s longest running, year round, NFL radio show.

Feb 192015
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (February 19, 2015)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Tom Coughlin Addresses Media at NFL Combine: New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Thursday at the NFL Combine. The video of the media session is available at Giants.com.

Q: Andre Williams got to play more towards the end of the season… Where does he excel and what role has he carved out for himself?
A: We have actually used him in all capacities. He is an outstanding runner, so first and second down back, for sure. He has done a good job of learning protections. He caught the ball much better than anybody gave him credit for. Hopefully he is rounding into a guy who can be used for any and all situations.

Q: In the decades you have been in the league, how much has the vetting process changed from when you started coaching to now?
A: It is what it is, as they say. You are aware of everything. The NFL policies have changed. They have gotten more rigid and strict. You are just trying to be sure that there is a great awareness on the part of the people you entertain thoughts about bringing into your program. You are advised that to make sure when you are in a place like this that the conduct policy is understood by the players. That is the way it should be. Has it changed? It changes with the times. We are a microcosm of society. We have our problems just like everyone else, and hopefully we will be able to help educate our people what is not acceptable. There have been changes, for sure.

Q: One of the big decisions you are facing is about Jason Pierre-Paul… Has any decision been made about the franchise tag and are you convinced that he will be back with you guys in 2015?
A: We are convinced that we want him back, without a doubt. There has been a lot of different discussions, and hopefully he is going to remain a Giant.

Q: Is the goal to get something done long-term with [Pierre-Paul]?
A: The goal is for him to be a Giant and play as a Giant forever, and retire as a Giant. How that works out is another issue.

Q: With Victor Cruz coming back and Odell Beckham Jr.’s burst onto the scene… How do you see Cruz affecting Beckham?
A: Two very, very talented individuals, two guys that have been extremely productive. Obviously the more weapons you have, the better the opportunities are. The only thing any of these guys are interested in is winning. That is all we talk about. The complementing each other, complementing our team, helping our team win – that is what it is all about.

Q: How is Victor Cruz’s knee now?
A: He has worked very hard. He looks good. It is a very regimented rehabilitation program. He has done a good job with it. He is where he should be. I think very shortly he is going to start running.

Q: In what ways is [Defensive Coordinator] Steve Spagnuolo a different coach than he was when he was with you before?
A: I don’t know if he is a different coach at all. I think he is a very personable young man. He is very sincere. He is very interested in the people that he works with, the players and the coaches. He is sincere about that. He has had the benefit of being in a couple different programs now. He has run, as a head coach, a football team in St. Louis, as you know. He has been with New Orleans. He has been with Baltimore. His last stop with [Baltimore Head Coach] John Harbaugh was a very good one, a very great experience for Steve. [It] widened his knowledge, his capacity, the broadening of his own thoughts in terms of how he would defend. He has definitely really learned from his experiences, and that is going to benefit our football team.

Q: On a base level, is [Spagnuolo’s] defense going to be what it was for those two years when he was in New York?
A: I wouldn’t be that simple. It will be more sophisticated. There will be more to it. There are areas on our football team, situationally, that have to improve. I don’t know to the naked eye if you will see a whole lot of difference in that regard. I am hoping the production will be a lot different.

Q: You signed your extension around this time last year… Are you going to work on another deal with the Giants?
A: I think that part of it is underway. Hopefully shortly you have some information about that.

Q: Do you have a preferred position for Weston Richburg?
A: He is a center.

Q: Is he going to be a center for you next year?
A: He will have every opportunity to compete.

Q: What was the evaluation of Larry Donnell after the season?
A: He has been very, very productive in one area. I think he has learned an awful lot about what it is to play in this league over an extended period of time. The entire season, the ups and the downs, I think he realizes he physically has to do a better job of preparing himself. We would like him to be a little bit better blocker. He has had huge games as a receiver and does complement a lot of what we are doing and continues to improve and get better in that regard.

Q: You said shortly there would be some news; there has been some talk about you coaching out the last year of your deal… Does that mean you are negotiating a new deal?
A: I am not going to say anything about that. In a short amount of time you will find out about that. You will discover what is going on. I don’t think it is any big mystery. You don’t have to be overly concerned about it being secretive. There is nothing to it, really.

Q: Is that something you wanted, that you needed to move forward, to have some security to move forward here?
A: Security, security? Thank you very much. There are 32 guys that coach one year at a time, I don’t care how many years you have on your contract.

Q: It would be financial security… How important to you is that moving forward?
A: The important thing is to be the head coach of the Giants, and everything else will take care of itself.

Q: Jermaine Kearse’s catch [in the Super Bowl] brought back a lot of painful memories for Patriots fans… Did it rekindle fonder memories for you of Super Bowl 42?
A: [Super Bowl] 42 it did. I thought it related to 42, not 46. I thought the play in 46 was one the finest precision, executed plays you will ever see. The pass, the catch, the whole business. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the execution of that particular play at this level. The two comparable plays are [from Super Bowls] 49 and 42.

Q: What are your memories of the first few combines you went to and how different are they now?
A: There is an awful lot that has changed from the very first ones that I can remember attending – I can remember being in New Orleans with a registry of all the position players that you had to look at. There was literally a film bank that we utilized at first, but in coming here, it has gotten better every year. Certainly the ability to be more efficient is trying to be done as well. There are an awful lot of things that have to be accomplished in a short amount of time, let’s put it that way.

Q: What did it come down to for you in regards to the changes made to the defensive staff?
A: That is going to remain my thoughts on why. I just thought change was necessary.

Q: [Spagnuolo’s] best defenses had Osi [Umenyiora], Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan revolving around… Even if you bring back Pierre-Paul, do you need more pass rushers to really make his defense work?
A: You are always trying to be better. We certainly do believe that would be a great addition, along with some other things, as well.

Q: You also have Robert Ayers and Damontre Moore – Is there a belief that you have potential on the roster?
A: I think so, but we would like to add to that potential as well.

Q: Where is bringing back Antrel Rolle on your priority list?
A: He is an outstanding young man and, to be honest with you, I have never come across a player that was more interested in his team and trying to help his team get better in any way he could. I think countless Tuesdays Antrel was in my office with [questions about] how we can get better, what can we do to get better. Just thoughts going back and forth between coach and player in terms of how our team could improve. I don’t think I have ever been involved with a player who was more sincerely interested in how his team could improve. I admire that very much in him as a young man and a leader. Certainly we would like him to come back. Obviously we do have financial restrictions involved.

Q: What is your evaluation on the development of Ryan Nassib?
A: Ryan has gotten better. If you studied our preseason, there was no doubt that he improved. I see him continuing to improve. He is a guy that works very hard below the surface and behind the scenes. He is in the weight room right now, all the time, pretty much four or five days a week. He studies on his own. He is very, very serious about being an outstanding football player and he is willing to pay the price to do it.

Q: Do you believe [Nassib] can be a starter at some point?
A: I do.

Q: How much has [Offensive Coordinator] Ben McAdoo grown into his role?
A: I think anytime you are cast into that role for the first time there are obvious learning experiences that you go through. The offense, let’s talk about the offense, I thought from the second half of the season on we got better. Of course the last couple of ball games, we had some good numbers. I think that therein gives us hope for the future.

Q: Where were you at this point last year with Odell Beckham? What did you know about him coming into the Combine?
A: You learn a lot more about people here. For me, it is the first opportunity to sit and talk with the player. You learn from that as well. It is a process. It is ongoing. This is a big part of it.

Q: How much did you know about him as a player just on the film?
A: Just that much information. Just a little bit of information coming in, not a lot. I hadn’t maybe done my own research yet.

Q: What about the story of Odell knowing Eli Manning from going to the same high school and passing camp… Did you guys tap into Eli Manning for some information?
A: Not really. You are going to make your own observations. Obviously, that human interest with the same school was an attractive thing. It took a while to even realize that. The evaluation process is totally about the young man.

Q: What do the proliferations of these very specific pre-draft and pre-combine training facilities where the guys are training specifically for the drills – How at all does that affect the evaluation process?
A: You have total knowledge that they are well groomed, if you will, in the drills that are going to be run. Therefore you are not that surprised when they do well in them. The differences are still there. The times are different. The execution of the drills are different. All of those things are recorded and compared.

Q: Does it make you more leery of the so-called workout warriors?
A: I think the final analysis comes from the quality of the player and the evaluation on the tape.

Q: Have any decisions been made regarding Mathias Kiwanuka’s future yet?
A: I don’t know that is has been finalized. I don’t know that any particular decision has been made along those lines.

Q: How is he doing physically?
A: He is working his way back, I think.

Q: Re: Kiwanuka coming back?
A: I wouldn’t answer that right now.

Q: What is the learning curve like in defending the Eagles attack under Chip Kelly?
A: Every day is a new day in that regard.

Articles on the New York Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft:

Feb 192015
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Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, and Dallas Reynolds; New York Giants (December 29, 2013)

Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, and Dallas Reynolds – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Re-Sign Offensive Lineman Dallas Reynolds: According to various press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds to a 1-year contract. Reynolds, who has experience at both center and guard, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent in early March.

Reynolds was active as a reserve linemen in 15 games for the Giants in 2014, but he did not start. Reynolds was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Eagles’ Practice Squad from 2009-11. In 2012, Reynolds played in 16 regular-season games with 14 starts with Philadelphia. The Eagles waived him August 2013 and he was signed by the Giants in October of that year.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions and 2015 New York Giants Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

Feb 172015
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Kevin Ogletree, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Kevin Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports Images

FOX Sports is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree to a 1-year contract. Ogletree was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next month.

Ogletree was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2009-12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013), and Detroit Lions (2013-14). The Lions waived Olgetree in September last year and the Giants then signed him in October.

He played in seven games with the Giants, but only caught five passes for 50 yards. In six NFL season, Olgetree has played in 69 games with four starts. He has 83 career receptions for 1,049 yards and six touchdowns – two of which he scored against the Giants in the 2012 opener as a Cowboy. Ogletree has decent size, athletic ability, and hands.

For a complete listing of New York Giants free agents, see the 2015 Free Agent Scorecard.

Giants.com Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

Feb 172015
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (December 28, 2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Post is reporting that the Giants will designate soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul the team’s “non-exclusive” Franchise Player. Teams are able to designate a Franchise Player between February 16 and March 2. Other teams can begin talking to Pierre-Paul and his agent when the free agency negotiating period begins on March 7.

A Franchise tag binds a player to the team for one year if certain conditions are met. Each team may only designate one player each year as that team’s Franchise player. There are two types of Franchise tags:

  • An “exclusive” franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. Exclusive franchise players cannot negotiate with other teams. The player’s team has all the negotiating rights to the exclusive player.
  • A “non-exclusive” franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the previous year, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if the player signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

The Post is reporting that the Giants would prefer to negotiate a new deal that would pay Pierre-Paul somewhere around $11-12 million instead of the $14.6 million that it would take for Pierre-Paul to play the entire season under the Franchise tag. By using the Franchise designation on him, it will discourage other teams from attempting to sign him to an offer sheet, give the Giants two #1 draft picks if the team chose not to match the offer, and give the Giants more time to negotiate a longer-term deal.

Article on DT Cullen Jenkins: Giants’ Cullen Jenkins ‘kind of knew’ pay cut was coming after rough season by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Salary Cap: Giants’ cap adjustments begin with Cullen Jenkins’ pay cut by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Feb 152015
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Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Cullen Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Contract Re-Structure for New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins: According to OverTheCap.com, the New York Giants and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins have agreed to a contract re-structure. According to NFL Players Association (NFLPA) records, Jenkins’ 2015 salary was reduced from $2.2 million to $1 million. OverTheCap.com says the re-structure will create $825,000 in additional cap space for the team.

In 2014, Jenkins was troubled by a calf injury, missed four games, and had a sub-par season, finishing with only 16 tackles and one sack in 12 games with 11 starts.

Article on New York Giants Recovering from Injuries: Giants offseason injury updates: Victor Cruz, Cooper Taylor, Geoff Schwartz and more by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on the Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft: Giants hoping they can make another pick like Odell Beckham Jr. by Tom Rock of Newsday

Giants.com Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

Feb 122015
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Terrell Thomas, New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Terrell Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Former New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas has announced his retirement from the NFL. Thomas was originally drafted in the second-round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Giants. The 30-year old Thomas played four seasons with the Giants (2008-2010 and 2013) but missed the 2011 and 2012 seasons after tearing and then re-tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee before each season, the first time in a preseason game and the second time in a training camp practice. Thomas had also torn the right ACL in college.

Thomas returned to play for the Giants in 2013, playing in all 16 games with seven starts, finishing the season with 67 tackles, one sack, seven pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. However, the Giants chose not to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent during the 2014 offseason. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in July but did not make the team.

Thomas finished his NFL career by playing in 60 regular-season games with 40 starts with the Giants. He accrued 298 tackles, three sacks, 45 pass defenses, 12 interceptions, and seven forced fumbles during that time frame.

Terrell Thomas, New York Giants (October 6, 2013)

Terrell Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“Terrell was smart and tough and a very good player,” said General Manager Jerry Reese in the team’s press release. “He quickly became a ‘pro’s pro’ during his time with the Giants.”

“Terrell was a very unique defensive corner,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He had outstanding cover skills, he was physical and would tackle and you could blitz him from the outside. He was a very smart player and devoted to the game. He took great pride in being a physical corner, and frankly, before the injuries, we thought we had a very good corner for a long time.”

“I had no idea (the last game I would play would be on December 29, 2013 as a New York Giant),” Thomas said. “I thought I had two more years. I thought I was about to be a top free agent and continue my career for two more years and show God’s grace. But He had a different plan for me.

“I thought I was going to have an active free agency. The number one thing was the doctors would not approve my knee. Every team, G.M., coaches, they loved me and wanted me, and thought I had a great year after coming back from all the ACL injuries. They thought that I would be better last year. But the doctors wouldn’t approve me.

“Knowing the game of football, being 29 with three ACL (injuries), I just figured my time is short. I can keep chasing a dream, but I was blessed to be able to come back and play that one year. To be able to show my family and fans, my daughter and myself that I worked hard enough to overcome some significant injuries and I became the second player in NFL history to come back from three ACLs. I didn’t play with a brace. I am proud of my accomplishments. I have been through a lot and I overcame it. I am a smart dude and I am not going to chase football. Football is not chasing me. I feel like my time is over. I was blessed enough to play six years in the NFL. I lived my dream, and now it is time for the next chapter of my life.

“(The injuries) hopefully (are) not going to haunt me til my days end, but that is just life. That is probably the hardest part that I had to deal with, that I was on the verge of being a very great player. The Giants, coach (former Cornerbacks Coach Peter) Giunta, coach (Safeties Coach David) Merritt, (former Defensive Coordinator) Perry Fewell, and Tom Coughlin really instilled confidence in me and made me believe in myself and really brought out the best of me as a football player. I just felt like I left something out there. I felt that I had a lot to prove for myself and the organization. I am so thankful for the opportunity that they gave me. When I realized the time was over, I always wanted to retire a Giant. Once you are a Giant, you are always a Giant. I was just so grateful for the organization, for one, drafting me and for two, sticking with and believing in me all those years. Because if I was with any other organization, I don’t think I would have had the chance to come back in 2013.

“What means the most to me about my time with the Giants is the man I became. Growing up a California kid and moving all the way to New York, 3,000 miles away, and coming to an organization with so much class and integrity and having a head coach who really taught me about morals and values and being a man of your word, I will never forget that. Being five minutes early and how important it is, and how you come to work and the preparation that you put in is what you get out. We had some great coaches there, some great years. I won a Super Bowl. My first year, I was an NFC East champion. I led the team in tackles. I had some really great years in New York. I learned a lot about myself. Just being a Giant. I had some great teammates.

“The biggest thing is what the organization taught me. Coach Coughlin taught me about integrity and doing what you say you are going to do. It goes a long way in life, and I think that has really prepared me for my next chapter in life. That is why I am so honored to retire a Giant, more importantly, why I wanted to. I felt like I owed them something, and I am just thankful for the opportunity they allowed me. It was a tough decision that I had to make, but I just feel that it was the right one. I realized that I was lucky enough to play six years and lucky enough to come back after two ACLs and a micro-fracture when everyone doubted me, and even when I doubted myself. I am thankful for the opportunity the Giants gave me. I am thankful that I can walk away healthy and say I accomplished some things. I feel like God has something else for me that is way more important than football, and I am really looking forward to that.”

Feb 112015
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David Wilson, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York  Giants Waive RB David Wilson: The New York Giants have waived running back David Wilson, the team’s first-round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Wilson suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He re-injured the neck on July 29, 2014 during training camp. Soon after a joint decision by Wilson and the Giants was made that it would be best for Wilson to retire from football. Wilson was officially placed on Injured Reserve a second time in August 2014.

New York Giants Officially Sign Center Brett Jones: Following up on yesterday’s update, the Giants have indeed officially signed Canadian Football League (CFL) offensive center Brett Jones. The 23-year old Jones has played center for the Calgary Stampeders for the past two seasons. He was named the CFL’s top rookie in 2013 and top offensive lineman in 2014.

“It has always been a goal and a dream of mine to play in the NFL,” said Jones in the team’s press release. “This is the first step, and I look forward to taking many more.

“When I was in university in Canada, my goal was always to try to play in the NFL. As a kid growing up playing games like Madden, it definitely was an influence. Some of the players on my team (in the video game) that I played with, they play in the NFL now. I always thought that I wanted to earn a chance.

“I am coming from the Canadian style, where (the defensive line is) one yard off the ball. I know that there is going to be a learning curve to that… Hopefully my pro experience will help me, but I understand there is going to be a learning curve and I look forward to that.”

Article on OC Brett Jones: Newest Giant Brett Jones’ former CFL teammates and position coach call him an ‘offensive coordinator’ on the field by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning’s Giants future: fat new contract or lame duck? by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Cullen Jenkins: Know Your Giants: DT Cullen Jenkins by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Feb 102015
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Brett Jones, Calgary Stampeders (June 26, 2014)

Brett Jones – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to various press reports, the New York Giants will sign Canadian Football League (CFL) offensive lineman Brett Jones. The 23-year old Jones has played center for the Calgary Stampeders for the past two seasons. He was named the CFL’s top rookie in 2013 and top offensive lineman in 2014.

Jones reportedly has worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Jones will visit with the Giants on Tuesday night and take a physical with the team on Wednesday.

Jones is 6’2”, 318 pounds and considered smart, tough, and athletic. He could also be an option at guard in addition to center for New York.

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings’ incredible journey to the NFL by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Giants.com Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • DT Jay Bromley (Video)
  • CB Jayron Hosley (Video)
Feb 072015
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Jason Pierre-Paul’s Contract Voided: The New York Daily News is reporting that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s rookie contract was voided on Friday. This expected move means Pierre-Paul will become an unrestricted free agent in March unless the Giants protect him with a Transition or Franchise tag. The Daily News is reporting that the expected Franchise tag number for defensive ends is expected to be approximately $15 million.

Other clubs are allowed to begin negotiating with free agents on March 7 and teams can officially sign another team’s free agents on March 10. Teams can designate Transition or Franchise players any time between February 16 and March 2.

“We would certainly like (Pierre-Paul) back, but it would have to be at the right price, something that makes sense for us,” said Giants President and CEO John Mara on December 30. “He certainly had a great finish to the season and showed the type of player that he can be and that he will be going forward. I would be very surprised if he was not a Giant next year.”

Pierre-Paul just turned 26 last month and his best football could still be in front of him. But he has had difficulty recapturing his tremendous productivity from his sophomore NFL season in 2011 when he accrued 86 tackles and 16.5 sacks. Those numbers plummeted to 66 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 2012 and 27 tackles and 2 sacks in 2013.

Pierre-Paul had surgery in June 2013 to repair a herniated disc in his lower back and he never seemed to fully rebound from that procedure during the 2013 season. He flashed some of his old form in Week 10 that year but also suffered a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the last five games of the season.

In his fifth year in 2014, Pierre-Paul had his second-best season, starting all 16 games and finishing with 77 tackles, 12.5 sacks, six pass defenses, and three forced fumbles. Pierre-Paul played the run well most of the year and finished up strong as a pass rusher after a slow start, with nine of his sacks coming in the last five games of the season.

Much more was hoped for and expected in 2014, but JPP remains the one player in the front seven that other teams need to account for. If he leaves, the Giants will have a major hole to fill on a defense already pot-marked with holes. But bringing him back is not a no-brainer. There is a salary cap and JPP clearly believes he is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and wants to be paid like it. The Giants know Pierre-Paul has had inconsistent productivity the last three years, as well as back surgery and shoulder issues.

“I think at the beginning of the season he wasn’t playing like he played at the end of the season,” said General Manager Jerry Reese on December 30. “The second half of the season, he came on really strong and played like we thought he should play. The guy has some ability to be a game changer. We didn’t see enough of that in the first half of the season.”

Towards the end of the 2014 season, Pierre-Paul’s comments to the press seemed to strongly suggest he will not be giving the Giants a hometown discount and that he is interested in testing the free agent waters.

“I don’t know (if I will be back with the Giants),” said Pierre-Paul in late December. “Everybody asks me that question and I really can’t answer that question truthfully. I don’t know what my future holds. Who knows if I am going to be in a Giant uniform, who knows where I am going to be in the offseason. Like I said, now, the numbers are there, I had a great season, and everybody sees it. There really is nothing else to say, just negotiations and it is coming.

“At the end of the day, it’s business, it’s business. Everyone knows that, even the fans know that, my family members know it, and I am going to make the best decision to better me and my family.

“I‘d love to be a Giant for the rest of my career, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t always fold like that. Look at Justin Tuck, look at Osi Umenyiora, look at Brandon Jacobs, it doesn’t matter. I think I am worth a lot of money.

“Like I said, it is going to be a business situation, it’s going to be about my family, and what I want to pursue,” replied Pierre-Paul. “At the end of the day, I’m here. Like I said earlier in the season, if I am a Giant, then I will be a Giant for my whole life. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:

Articles on Former New York Giants Co-Owner Ann Mara:

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings’ offseason training rundown by NFL.com

Article on the New York Giants Special Teams: Who was the Giants’ best special teams player in 2014? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com