Free-agent-to-be Jason Pierre-Paul said Wednesday that he "would love to be a Giant for life." Can the New York Giants and the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end come to an agreement to make that happen? That will be one of the critical personnel questions facing the Giants this off-season.
"Who knows how it is going to fall out. I don't know what the future has. Whatever I can do now to control my own destiny is going out and finishing these games and being healthy. That is what I can control," Pierre-Paul said. "I don't know what is going to happen. I don't worry about it. I will let it sort itself out. I will let my agent handle that with the Giants when it comes time to talk."
Pierre-Paul had an injury-plagued season in 2013 during which he record only two sacks. He has played the run exceptionally well most of this season, but struggled to find his pass-rushing form until the last two weeks. During the last two games he has doubled his sack total for the season and now has seven. With three games to go that is the second-highest total of his career, behind only his 16.5-sack All-Pro 2011 season.
Will the Giants view Pierre-Paul, 25, as a player worth the kind of money the league's top defensive ends make. Say somewhere between the six-year, $100 million deal J.J. Watt has with the Houston Texans and the four-year, $48.2 million deal Chris Long (the sixth-highest paid defensive end) has with the St. Louis Rams? Would they use the franchise tag on him?
The answer might depend on which guy they believe to be the real Pierre-Paul. Is it the guy who struggled through injuries and couldn't find his way to the quarterback the last season-and-a-half? Is it the guy who has been in the backfield constantly the past two weeks? Is he somewhere in-between?
We will find out the answer to what the Giants think of JPP soon enough.