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JASON PIERRE-PAUL MEETS WITH GIANTS…
Unsigned defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will meet with the New York Giants on Monday, his first meeting with team officials since the July 4th fireworks accident that caused serious injuries to his right hand and arm.
NFL.com is reporting that Pierre-Paul is taking a physical and will meet with team President/CEO John Mara, General Manager Jerry Reese, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Monday night “to clear the air and discuss how to proceed.”
Pierre-Paul currently remains the Giants Franchise player, with a 1-year, $14.813 tender. NFL.com says “before he signs his contract, however, there will be some negotiations between the two sides to arrive on a financial solution for a player who might miss some games because of his non-football injury.”
Pierre-Paul wants to avoid being placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List which would sideline him six games and cost him about $5.5 million in salary if the Giants choose not to pay him for games missed. On the other hand, the Giants are unlikely to want to give the seriously-injured Pierre-Paul almost $15 million. A compromise deal based on performance incentives and playing time might be reached.
Pierre-Paul believes he can play early in the season but it remains to be seen if the Giants agree.
NFL.com reports that the flexibility and range-of-motion in Pierre-Paul’s right hand is improving and that his broken bones have healed. That said, if allowed to play, Pierre-Paul would play with a cast on his right hand at least early in the season.
GIANTS SIGN CRAIG DAHL, RELEASE STEVIE BROWN…
The Giants signed safety Craig Dahl on Monday and released safety Stevie Brown.
Dahl was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2007 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Giants (2007-08), Rams (2009-12), and 49ers (2013-15). The 49ers waived him last week. Dahl has started 43 regular-season games in his career, but only one in the last two seasons with the 49ers, where he was primarily a back-up safety and special teams player. Dahl has decent size but lacks ideal overall athleticism.
The Giants signed Stevie Brown on August 31 after he was cut by the Houston Texans.
MORE PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed tight end Will Tye and defensive tackle Montori Hughes to the Practice Squad. The team still has two openings left on the 10-man squad.
Will Tye was signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants on May 11. The Giants waived him on September 1st in the first round of cuts.
Montori Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, he played in 16 games with one start. Hughes is a strong, mammoth nose tackle-type lineman who can hold his ground against the double team. He is a decent athlete for his size with some quickness to his game.
Not practicing on Monday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), and DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring).
“(Cruz is) working in the pool,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He does run on the treadmill underwater, but that’s as far as I know…I don’t know anything. When he practices, I’ll let you know.”
DE Robert Ayers (ankle) and LB Jon Beason (knee) returned to practice. LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) and CB Trevin Wade (back) also practiced.
“We’re hoping (Beason can play Sunday),” said Coughlin. “We have to get him out there again and get him going. He’s excited and we’re excited.”
“Ayers actually looked pretty good today, hopefully that’s behind him,” said Coughlin.
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):
Q: What was your message to the team out there?
A: When you have a practice like this…to be able to really talk about team, about responsibility, and about taking a look around. This is it, there’s no 100 guys, there’s 10 practice squad guys this year, and 53. We have to service each other, we have to help each other get better, and that’s the whole purpose of this thing. There is a responsibility to each other and we always talk about unity over self and so on and so forth, team above self, and that’s what this was about.
Q: You brought back safety Craig Dahl. Was it because of the relationship he has with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo?
A: That was part of it. We looked at him, obviously, on tape and so on and so forth, the fact that he’s played back there, he’s a veteran, he knows the system, and he can communicate well. He’ll have a few bumps in the road just to get going, but he’ll know what we’re doing and he’ll get us lined up.
Q: Special teams?
A: And special teams, I think he had 11 special teams tackles last year.
Q: What did you like about defensive tackle Louis Nix III and cornerback Asa Jackson?
A: Well, Jackson, a guy that’s played the nickel position, he started to play on the outside in Baltimore a year ago, so we thought that it was a good fit for us. The big tackle, we, of course, knew about him, discussed him thoroughly when he was coming out, and a couple years later he was available so we thought that this would be a good time to take him and work in. He had been at nose tackle, don’t really think that’s what he is, a three-technique, big guy who can move and who can run, so we were interested.
Q: There have been reports that Jason [Pierre-Paul] is going to be here today.
A: I have no idea. When Jason comes and he’s here, I’ll be glad to talk to you about it. I don’t have any information.
Q: Does your defense need him [JPP]?
A: We need a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul, certainly. He’s a guy that would add to our team provided he’s healthy and he can play at the level he’s played at.
Q: How much catching up would he have to do?
A: He’s got a lot to catch up with because, in other words, the other thing is I don’t know where he is from a conditioning standpoint; you don’t know how much he has been able to do. He’ll have some time to spend to get ready. I think he’ll come quickly through the football part of it. He’s had an iPad, he’s watched, so on and so forth. Hopefully that part will be, and we’ll be able to get him up to date on that. Of course, the other thing is he’s coming into a game plan situation, so it’s very specific, so he has to learn specifically what his responsibilities are as we get into the regular season rather than the entire playbook.
Q: So just to be clear here, you anticipate conditioning to be a bigger issue than scheme stuff?
A: First of all, his health, that’s the main thing.
Q: Do you have an update on Victor Cruz?
A: No, I don’t have an update.
Q: He [Cruz] hasn’t run still, as far as you’re aware.
A: He’s working in the pool. He does run on the treadmill underwater, but that’s as far as I know.
Q: Do you think it’s going to be tough…
A: I’m not answering, I don’t know anything. When he practices, I’ll let you know.
Q: Does he [Cruz] have to be handled differently because of the knee injury on top of the calf injury?
A: I thought we worked our way pretty much through that, but that could have an effect on what’s going on with the other leg, as well. You never know about that.
Q: Does [Jon] Beason look good to go this week and Sunday?
A: We’re hoping. We have to get him out there again and get him going. He’s excited and we’re excited.
Q: The same with DE [Robert] Ayers?
A: Yeah. Ayers actually looked pretty good today, hopefully that’s behind him.
Q: Back to Victor, how much would he have to practice?
A: He’d have to practice, he’d have to practice, and he’d have to get comfortable.
Q: Would it have to be days?
A: That’s not for you to know, that’s for me to know. If he looks good in practice, we’ll decide.
Q: Who’s your starting right guard?
A: Right now people are working in and out of there, and I think we’re okay with that.
Q: Is Wednesday the first big day of trying to get the game plan in?
A: Sure, yeah, that’s the first day.
Q: Have you sort of settled on Cooper [Taylor] getting that first shot at safety?
A: We’ll have something to say later in the week, but we’d like to see them all compete again and then we’ll make that call.
Q: Was it something that you didn’t see in Stevie Brown this past week?
A: No, we didn’t have as much time as we would like, obviously. I wish we had more time in the preseason to work with him, but we just felt at this time it was the right thing for us to do.
Q: Has it been unsettling to have so many questions about the offensive line and safety going into the first regular season game?
A: It’s pretty normal. If it isn’t that, it’s something else, but I’d like to have definite answers for you on all these guys, but sometimes you don’t have that.
Q: Does Dahl’s ability to play special teams factor into him over Stevie?
A: Someone asked that over here. He had 11 tackles last year on special teams.
Q: Has it been harder for you to go about planning this year when you have so many question marks?
Q: Are you able to plan or are you moving on as if it’s not going to happen and if it does, it’s sort of a bonus?
A: There’s always a plan, everything is planned, everything is in great detail, sometimes you adjust, but everything is planned.
Q: How do you plan for JPP and moving forward?
A: When he gets here, we’ll see, we’ll see.
Q: Is it fair to think he [Pierre-Paul] is not going to play this weekend?
A: I’m not saying anything. Maybe he comes in and he’s in great shape and the doctors clear him right way, he practices two days, and goes and plays. I don’t know, I’m not sure about any of that, but I’m not going to rule that out, either.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team.