That, really, shouldn't be a surprise. The Giants will have a difficult time replacing Pierre-Paul, an outstanding all-around defensive end who had seven sacks, eight passes defenses, three forced fumbles in 12 game last season. Pierre-Paul was Pro Football Focus's 14th-ranked defensive end in 2016. Until he was injured, Pierre-Paul was on the field for more than 90 percent of the Giants' defensive snaps.
The question is just how much money will the Giants be willing to spend to turn that "legitimate run" into a long-term signing. After missing out on lucrative long-term deals the past two offseasons, Pierre-Paul has made it clear that he wants to cash in this time around. ESPN's Dan Graziano was probably right when he predicted that Pierre-Paul "would bolt the Giants if someone dangled a big contract in front of him."
The Giants signed Olivier Vernon to a five-year, $85 million contract with $52.5 million guaranteed a year ago. Pierre-Paul has been rumored to be seeking a similar deal, and last month former sports agent and current CBS Sports cap analyst Joel Corry told Big Blue View "at a minimum, he (Pierre-Paul) should get $15M per year with at least $45 million in guarantees on the open market." Spotrac's Market Value Tool estimates Pierre-Paul's value at $73.6 million over five years, an average salary of about $14.6 million. That would put JPP among the five highest-paid defensive ends in the league.
We will find out over the coming weeks if the Giants think he is worth that much, or if they can convince him to take less to stay with the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2010.
"If I have a chance to bring one of these premier pass rusher, one of these war daddies that takes two to block, if I have a chance to get a player like that, I would," Jones told the radio station, via The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's not a question of that. It's a question of, where is he? And who gives him up if he's a veteran, or where is he in the draft, or where is he anywhere. So, yeah we do need pressure. We're going to try to do something about it."
Again, we have speculated that despite their salary cap constraints the Cowboys would be a logical suitor for Pierre-Paul.
That might be good news for the tackle-needy Giants. If he reaches free agency, Wagner would be the best right tackle on the market. The Giants could make a serious run at the 27-year-old.