Sixty-seven million dollars. That is what Spotrac's new Calculated Market Value tool estimates as what New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul might expect to receive when NFL free agency opens on March 9. Is Pierre-Paul worth that much money to the Giants? Or anyone?
Spotrac's newly-released Calculated Market Value tool uses a variety of factors including players it considers comparable, age, and statistical comparisons over the two preceding seasons. For JPP, Spotrac arrives at the conclusion that Pierre-Paul's value would be just above $13.4 million annually over five years, a total of slightly more than $67 million.
As we enter into this discussion let's be clear. No one has said Pierre-Paul has asked for that number, nor has anyone said that the Giants have offered it. This is purely a hypothetical discussion based on the value generated by Spotrac's calculations. We will simply use it as a baseline to give you an opportunity to discuss what you believe to be a fair price for Pierre-Paul.
Would you pay the 27-year-old Pierre-Paul $67 million? Would you take the risk of a five-year commitment to him? The Giants balked at the idea of doing so a year ago, which is why they used the franchise tag to keep him. That, of course, was before Pierre-Paul blew his right hand apart, permanently damaging it, in a Fourth of July fireworks mishap.
Spotrac's CMV tool can't account for the disfigurement of Pierre-Paul's hand. It can't account for how that affects his performance, or predict whether Pierre-Paul's game will be permanently impacted by it. We saw last season that, while still disruptive, Pierre-Paul could not finish plays due to the massive club he was wearing to protect that hand. He underwent offseason surgery in hopes of gaining greater use of that hand, but there are no guarantees that Pierre-Paul will ever be the complete player he once was.
The contract suggested by Spotrac would be the fourth-highest in terms of total value for any 4-3 defensive end, behind only J.J. Watt ($100M), Mario Williams ($96M), and Charles Johnson ($76M). Can you pay that kind of money to a player who is damaged goods, a player from whom you really have no idea what to expect?
This is the dilemma the Giants face. They don't have nearly enough talent on defense to begin with. Do they massively overpay to keep Pierre-Paul, who has also had back surgery and shoulder issues, and hope he can be at least a semblance of what he used to be? Do they hold their ground, try to get him to sign an incentive-laden one- or even two-year deal, allowing him to walk if he chooses to pursue a mega-contract?
This is not an easy decision at all for the Giants. What would you do?