Thoughts on Pierre-Paul
Before saying anything about the stupidity of what Pierre-Paul apparently did over the weekend, let's be thankful that reports indicate JPP will keep his hand and all of his fingers. We have heard nothing official from the Giants or from Pierre-Paul representatives, but if that is indeed the case that is good news.
Now, for some other thoughts. What was Pierre-Paul thinking? Fireworks are fun to watch -- I sat lakeside Saturday night and watched displays from a number of nearby camps. They are, however, foolish to be messing with unless you know exactly what you are doing. Especially when you have millions of dollars at stake. JPP obviously wasn't thinking about that. He obviously wasn't thinking about his teammates, his head coach or the Giants organization. He was thinking only about himself.
I am still trying to verify the Giants' options, but the NY Post says they could revoke the $14.8 million franchise tag offer Pierre-Paul has yet to sign, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. They certainly will consider this incident if and when any long-term contract negotiations take place.
As of now, we have no idea how this will impact Pierre-Paul's availability for the season -- or training camp in less than a month. We do know that Pierre-Paul's priorities were out of whack, putting himself and a few moments of fun above his team, his career and even his ability to provide and care for his family.
The whole mess is unfortunate, but I feel worse for the Giants than I do for Pierre-Paul. They could lose a critical part of their defense, or at least be without him for a while, through no fault of their own. It's callous, sure, but whatever consequences come to JPP they are self-inflicted. I am glad he apparently did not suffer a career-ending or life-altering injury, but I have no sympathy for whatever money he cost himself. He needed to know better, needed to behave like an NFL player, needed to behave like the father of a small child and be responsible. He couldn't do that.
Justin Pugh, 24, is entering his third NFL season, and with Will Beatty out with a torn pectoral muscle Pugh is the longest-tenured starter on the Giants' offensive line. He spoke with Jordan Ranaan recently about the transformation from a young player trying to find his way to a seasoned veteran.
"You've got to get things in your life in order. I look at things as a highway and you don't want there to be roadblocks or anything going on," Pugh said. "So with your friends, you want to make sure you have everything in order, you're spending enough time with football and not going out or whatever.
"You want to make sure your money is in order; your finances someone is taking care of it or watching it so you know you feel secure with that because during the season you don't have time to spend on it; your body, making sure I have my diet, my chef, taking care of it. I had the acupuncture, the massage, making sure you have all these things in order allows you to be free of distraction and it allows you to focus on football."
NFL.com is predicting that the Giants will make the playoffs.
The Giants don't generate headlines like the Cowboys and Eagles, but New York has something scary cooking on offense. A healthy Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle give Eli Manning one of the league's top receiving trios, while Shane Vereen is an underrated free-agent addition. The NFC East looms as a dogfight and Big Blue will do enough to squeak into the show.