Good morning, New York Giants fans! Let's check the Giants-related headlines as the NFL offseason rolls along.
Decision Time On Jason Pierre-Paul
Monday is the first day teams can place the franchise or transition tags on players. That window last until March 2, with the free agency negotiating window opening March 7 and the free agency signing period beginning March 10. All of this means the Giants have reached decision time on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Will the Giants use the tag, at a cost of roughly $15 million, on Pierre-Paul? Will they be able to negotiate a long-term deal before free agency begins? Will Pierre-Paul reach the open market, leaving the Giants in danger of losing their best defensive lineman?
In a look at top 2015 free agents, Matt Williamson of ESPN recently expressed the view that he isn't sure exactly what Pierre-Paul is worth:
Williamson's report: "He's a tough one for me. I don't know that he's quite good enough to be a guy you franchise, but he has been elite at times in his career. He's become more well rounded and better against the run, but is he a guy you're really frightened of? I don't always know what to think of him. You've seen him do it, seen the ability, but he's had some injuries, and you're making a big projection to assume he can get back to when he was at his absolute best."
Yours truly has believed all along that the 26-year-old Pierre Paul is a player the Giants have to keep, and that he could well be worth more to the Giants than anyone else.
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has agreed to a $1.2 million pay cut, according to multiple media reports. Jenkins' base salary will be slashed from $2.2 million to $1 million. With a $375,000 roster bonus included, the deal with save the Giants $825,000 against the salary cap. The question is whether the 34-year-old Jenkins will make the 53-man roster, thus earning that bonus.
The NFL Scouting Combine is this week. NFL.com reminds us, however, that players not invited to the Combine can still become NFL stars. Current Giant Victor Cruz and former Giants Osi Umenyiora are two such players.
What would the price tag be for New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, a player who might be an excellent fit with the Giants? ESPN thinks it could be north of the three-year, $10.5 million deal ($4 million guaranteed) that Donald Brown signed with the San Diego Chargers a year ago. Would he be worth that much to the Giants?