New York Giants All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre Paul lost a few fingers following a bizarre July 4th fireworks accident that mangled his right hand back in 2015. That first season back was rough as he learned how to maneuver and be effective without the use of his index finger among other physical setbacks. He had just one sack in eight games.
Some suggested he wouldn’t ever be the same player, but a strong 2016 secured JPP a new, blockbuster four-year $62 million deal with a whopping $40 million in guaranteed scratch. Before missing the last four games and the playoffs, Pierre-Paul was second on the team with seven sacks, including 5.5 in his last three games.
The Giants organization has stuck with him, still paid him and had faith that he would return to form.
JPP has returned that love by structuring his new deal in a manner that has already allowed the Giants to sign free agent defensive back Valentino Blake, re-sign their best coverage linebacker Keenan Robinson and sign San Francisco 49ers running back Shaun Draughn, who has a penchant for finding the end zone.
JPP’s contract, obtained in full by The Daily News on Tuesday, includes a reduced $7.5 million cap hit for the upcoming 2017 season that freed $9.34 million for GM Jerry Reese to apply to other needs and boosted the Giants' available cap space from just under $4 million to $12.1 million.
The Giants are still making moves and improving on a defense that was already one of the NFL’s best. They aren’t ignoring the offensive side of the ball as the Draughn signing and an earlier signing of Geno Smith to play backup QB to Eli shows an effort to have a rock solid Super Bowl squad from top to bottom.