Giants owner 'disappointed' Jason Pierre-Paul not in training camp

ByDan Graziano ESPN logo
Thursday, July 30, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' feelings on Jason Pierre-Paul's continued absence from their facility could not be clearer. From the owner to his teammates, the Giants think Pierre-Paul is making a mistake by not being here.

"I'm disappointed he's not here," Giants owner John Mara said Thursday, when the rest of the team reported for the start of training camp. "I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of reasons. He would have the opportunity to learn the new defense, but more importantly, we have the best training staff in the league here."

Pierre-Paul has not let the Giants examine him since he lost his right index finger and fractured his thumb in a July 4 fireworks incident. A source told ESPN on Wednesday that Pierre-Paul is receiving medical care and will rehab on his own near his South Florida home, and it doesn't appear as though he has plans to get to Giants training camp any time soon. He's not likely to show up until either he's healthy or he and the Giants work out some guarantees about his 2015 salary.

But to hear the Giants tell it, they're not interested in having those conversations until they see Pierre-Paul.

"We don't know how extensive the damage is. That's the problem," Mara said. "I don't know how many fingers he has. We know what we've read and what we've been told, but until we actually see the extent of the damage, it's hard to make any type of prediction as to what type of condition he's going to be in."

Mara said the Giants would be willing to have a discussion with Pierre-Paul about the manner in which he'd be paid this year. At this point, the main reason Pierre-Paul is staying away is that signing his $14.813 million franchise tender would give the Giants the right to place him on the non-football injury list and elect not to pay him for games missed. But he could come to some sort of arrangement in which the team promises in writing to pay him, and if that were to happen, it could lure him back to camp.

"We would be open to discussing anything," Mara said. "But first we have to see him."

In Pierre-Paul's absence, Giants coach Tom Coughlin and new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have to cobble together a pass rush with a collection of less accomplished players such as Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, George Selvie and Kerry Wynn. There's little doubt that the Giants players are feeling the absence of the team's best pass rusher.

"It hit me today -- we're going into camp without our cornerstone guy," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "It's almost as if we were going into camp without (quarterback) Eli (Manning)."

The Giants' first practice of training camp is scheduled for Friday. They open the season Sept. 13 against the Cowboys in Dallas.

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