08/28/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
You remember the Where's Waldo books, right? Well in the New York Giants camp right now, the question is, where is Jason Pierre Paul?
JPP as he's known around the NFL, sustained a hand injury due to an accident involving fireworks on July 4th. He has yet to report to camp. And Giants officials seem to have no idea if or when he will be reporting to the team. Nobody seems to know how seriously he was injured. Some reports say he had a finger blown off. Nobody seems to know what his condition is now and if he's able to play. So what is going on here?
Well here's the story. First of all, the fireworks injury though isn't the reason JPP isn't in camp though. He had skipped all of the teams workouts prior to that. That's because he was unhappy the Giants used the franchise player tag on him. He was given the franchise tag back in March, but he has yet to sign the offer. So therefore, Pierre-Paul technically doesn't have a contract. And luckily for him he didn't sign the contract before his injury. Because had he been under contract, the Giants could've put him on the non football injury list. And had that occurred, JPP would have been unable to play for the first six weeks of the season. Under his franchise tag, Pierre-Paul is scheduled to make $14.8 million dollars. If JPP was unable to play due to his injury and had signed the contract, the Giants could put him on the non football injury list. And with that, JPP's pay would be cut over those first six weeks of the season.
Financially it's a smart move for Pierre-Paul. If or when his injuries are healed JPP will arrive at Giants camp at that time. And as long as he's close to being in playing shape he'll be able to start the season on the field with his full pay. Reports have said Pierre-Paul's injury is healing well and that he's working to make sure he is in shape to play and to be ready for the season opener.
But because of his gone missing approach through all of this, members of the Giants medical staff have been unable to exam him and have yet to see his medical records as well. And head coach Tom Coughlin obviously hasn't spoken to Pierre-Paul either, because he has said he doesn't know when JPP is planning to show up.
Hey, you can't blame the guy for wanting to protect his money. But maybe letting your coach know when you're going to be at camp might be a good thing to do? Maybe letting the team's medical staff make sure you're going to be ready to play would be too? That part is a little selfish on JPP's part, but reports have stated he has been in contact with some current and former teammates and plans to be ready to go for the season opener.
And if JPP records a couple of sacks and forces a fumble in the season opener and helps lead the Giants to victory in week one, any negative feelings about him will go away and all will be forgiven and well again. Such is life in today's NFL.
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