Multiple media reports this evening indicate that the New York Giants gained little to no clarity on Tuesday into the status of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. That news comes despite the Giants having sent a contingent of team officials, including VP of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes, to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The New York Daily News is reporting that Pierre-Paul, who suffered injuries to both hands in a July 4th fireworks mishap, is "believed to have undergone surgery," although there has been no official word. Adam Schefter reported that Giants officials had been in Florida since Monday night but still had not seen Pierre-Paul as as 5 p.m.
The only official statement the Giants have made, via e-mail from Senior Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon, is that "our first concern is for JPP's well-being."
Also per the Daily News, it seems that Pierre-Paul will not face any charges for violation of Florida laws about the use of recreational fireworks.
Pat Traina and I discussed Pierre-Paul Tuesday afternoon during the latest 'Big Blue Chat' podcast.
The Giants had placed the franchise tag, worth $14.8 million for a defensive end, on Pierre-Paul rather than sign him to a long-term contract.
The Giants could end up having to place Pierre-Paul on the Non-Football Injury list. There has been some confusion over the exact working of the NFI, even between Pat and I during the podcast. Here is the current understanding of how the NFI works.
Pierre-Paul would have to sign his tender before the beginning of training camp, thus allowing the Giants to place him on the NFI list. If the Giants do that and Pierre-Paul is not activated prior to Week 1 of the regular season vs. the Dallas Cowboys, he would have to remain on the list for the first six weeks of the season. After that time the Giants would have three weeks to either activate him or place him on injured reserve. If he is on NFI during the regular season the Giants can choose not to play him for games missed. Pierre-Paul would not count against the 90- or 53-man rosters as long as he was on NFI.
Here is the section of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that deals with the Non-Football Injury list:
(a) A player who is placed on a Nonfootball Injury or Illness list ("N-F /1") will not be entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list but, except as provided below, his contract will continue to run while in such status.
(b) A player on N-F /1 who is in the final year of his contract (including an option year) will have his contract tolled. However, if the player is physically able to perform his football services on or before the sixth regular season game, the club must pay the player his negotiated Paragraph 5 Salary (pro rata) for the balance of the season in order to toll such player'S contract. If such player is taken off N-F /1 during the period when such action is allowed by League rules, his contract will not be tolled.
Should Pierre-Paul choose not to sign the franchise tag tender the Giants would not have to place him on NFI as he would not be under contract. He could then sign the tender at whatever point he is cleared to begin practicing.