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Giants place franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

jpp-center-22817.jpg

The Giants have designated DE Jason Pierre-Paul as their franchise player:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For the second time in three years, the Giants have designated Jason Pierre-Paul as their franchise player.


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JPP was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 9. By franchising Pierre-Paul, the Giants have until July 15 at 4 p.m. to reach a long-term contract agreement with him. If no deal is reached, he would have to play the 2017 season under the terms of the franchise tender.

JPP is free to negotiate with other teams when the free agency signing period begins next week, and the Giants have the right to match any offer he receives. But if Pierre-Paul signs a contract with another team, the Giants will receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.

This is the fifth time the Giants have franchised a player since 1993, and the first time they've designated the same player twice. The two previous players to be franchised, running back Brandon Jacobs in 2009 and punter Steve Weatherford in 2012, signed multi-season deals.

Pierre-Paul did not agree to a long-term contract when he was franchised in 2015. He never signed the tender, and on July 4 of that year, his right hand was badly injured in a fireworks accident. After missing the first half of the season, Pierre-Paul returned to start the final eight games.

Last season, Pierre-Paul started the first 12 games before missing the final four and the NFC Wild Card Game after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle injury that he suffered at Pittsburgh on Dec. 4. He was a much-improved player compared to the previous season, and he finished second on the team with 7.0 sacks. He also had 53 tackles (35 solo), eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

His final two full games were his best performances of the season. JPP tied his career high with 2.5 sacks vs. Chicago on Nov. 20, then broke it with 3.0 sacks the following week at Cleveland, where he had seven tackles (five solo), forced a fumble that was recovered by Kerry Wynn and, more spectacularly, caught a ball Josh McCown had fumbled in midair - after it was forced by Johnathan Hankins - and returned it 43 yards for his third career touchdown. Pierre-Paul earned his fourth career NFC Defensive Player of the Week Award. But the following week he suffered the season-ending injury vs. the Steelers.

JPP's 50.0 career sacks place him seventh in Giants history (since they became an official statistic in 1982). He was a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2012.

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