As had been anticipated for the past several weeks, the New York Giants Monday placed the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, preventing their best defensive lineman from reaching free agency. Teams had until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to use the tag on prospective unrestricted free agents.
The tag will cost the Giants $14.813 million against their $143.411 million salary cap for 2015. After placing the tag on Pierre-Paul, the Giants have an estimated $xx left under cap, per Over The Cap.
The Giants and the 26-year-old Pierre-Paul have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with Pierre-Paul.
The Giants used the non-exclusive tag, meaning teams can still negotiate with Pierre-Paul until April 24. Any team signing him, though, would have to surrender two first-round picks if the Giants refuse to match. Per Ralph Vacchiano, that has not happened since 1998.
Pierre-Paul had 12.5 sacks in 2016, the second-highest total of his career. He had 16.5 sack in an All-Pro 2011 season. The only real leverage Pierre-Paul has right now is that should he choose not to sign his contract he is not obligated to attend the offseason program or veteran mini-camp.
The Giants had indicated ever since the 2014 season ended that keeping Pierre-Paul was a priority. During the Combine head coach Tom Coughlin said of Pierre-Paul that "The goal is for him to be a Giant and play as a Giant forever and retire a Giant."
The Giants did not ensure that by using the franchise tag. They did, however, ensure that Pierre-Paul would be part of their defense in 2015.