Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jason Pierre-Paul likely headed to NFI list after fireworks accident: Report

The New York Giants have already pulled a $60 million long-term contract offer to Jason Pierre-Paul, after the defensive end injured his hands in a fireworks accident in Florida on Saturday and was reportedly still in a hospital as of Monday. 

The long-term future of JPP couldn't be any more uncertain after discovering that the serious nerve damage to his hand might take more than 10 weeks to heal and it puts the Giants in a bind — both on the field and in the front office.

If Pierre-Paul is able to play this season ‐ which appears likely at this point ‐ he seems destined for the non-football injury or illness (NFI) list. The active/NFI list most likely.

Three NFL sources agreed the rules dictate this it the realistic scenario given that Pierre-Paul's injuries came away from the field and he's reportedly going to miss the start of the season. As long as he can play this season, the Giants are not going to pull the one-year, $14.8 million tender that still sits on the table unsigned. If they did, it would make Pierre-Paul a free agent.

The Giants can't afford to lose a defensive lineman — especially one as good as JPP. They don't have another player on the roster who has topped 7.0 sacks in a single professional season. And while Pierre-Paul had 12.5 in an up-and-down 2014 but, when healthy, he still has immense value to the team.

So what is this active/NFI list? Here are some details in layman's terms:

•  It's for injuries that occurred away from the field.

• Players on NFI do not get paid, or get compensated an agreed amount less than their full contract.

• Since Pierre-Paul technically wasn't under contract, the Giants need to get the active/NFLI designation approved by the league.

• The active/NFLI designation is removed the moment a player practices with the team.

• Players do count against the 90 and 53-man rosters on the active/NFI list. 

Pierre-Paul's situation is more complicated than most because he was injured without a current signed contract. The Giants can rescind their franchise tag offer, if they like.

There are likely going to need to be negotiations of some sort to keep all parties happy. But the NFI appears the best and most logical way to make it work. 

That is, of course, if Pierre-Paul is healthy enough to play at all this season. 

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