Jason Pierre-Paul says he won't sign another one-year contract

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Monday, January 9, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Pierre-Paul played on a one-year, prove-it deal with the New York Giants this season. He doesn't plan on doing it again.

"I'm not playing on no one-year deal," Pierre-Paul said Monday, one day after the Giants' season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. "I've proved it. I've showed it. There is not really another guy like me out here doing it with 7 fingers still."

Pierre-Paul, who had seven sacks in 12 games before undergoing sports hernia surgery, will be a free agent this offseason. He signed a one-year deal with the Giants last winter, after a 2015 season in which he missed the first half of the year following a July 4 weekend fireworks accident that left his right hand severely injured.

The veteran defensive end was a different player in 2016, re-establishing himself as a consistent force against the run and as a pass-rusher.

"My future is bright," he said. "[I] Just turned 28 years old."

The Giants have several decisions to make this offseason on their defense. Pierre-Paul, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson are all set to become free agents.Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also carries a hefty price tag ($9 million against the salary cap) for a third cornerback.

Hankins and Pierre-Paul are the two biggest free-agent decisions the Giants face this offseason. General manager Jerry Reese feels it's financially realistic to bring them both back.

"I think so," Reese said.

The Giants would prefer to have Pierre-Paul return to a defense that showed significant growth after finishing dead last in the NFL the previous year. They liked what they saw from him this season, especially working alongside Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Hankins on a dominant defensive front four.

"Do we want him back? Of course we want him back," Reese said. "He's a good football player."

Pierre-Paul will come at a costly price. He was playing on a level similar to Vernon before the injury this season. Vernon received a five-year, $85 million deal from the Giants this past offseason.

The Giants defense made massive improvements this season and there is a belief in the locker room that the unit is on the verge of something special. It's just a matter of whether they can keep the group together, and if not, which pieces they are willing to sacrifice.

Hankins is more of a run-stuffing defensive tackle. Pierre-Paul is an edge-rushing defensive end.

"JPP is a tremendous player, great talent, can rush the quarterback," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Anytime you can rush the quarterback or cover somebody on defense, you're a valuable asset. And we'll take a look at that and talk about that here shortly."

Pierre-Paul was a first-round pick of the Giants in the 2010 NFL draft. He has 365 career tackles and 50 sacks. He's played on consecutive one-year deals after his rookie contract expired.

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