Jason Pierre-Paul is set to fly in to reunite with the Giants today, and an all-important physical examination is on the schedule for the veteran defensive end, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
Pierre-Paul is still recovering from a hand injury that he sustained on the July 4th weekend in a fireworks accident. JPP, who lost a finger in the mishap, has yet to report to the Giants, so the team is unsure about how the pass rusher’s rehab has progressed. That makes today’s physical an important stepping stone for franchise-tag recipient, as he looks to get back on the field.
For now, Pierre-Paul also technically remains a free agent, having not signed his franchise tender from the Giants. Not signing that one-year deal gave the 26-year-old leeway to miss training camp and the preseason without being fined, and allows him to avoid being placed on New York’s non-football injury list for the first six weeks. When a team places a player on the NFI list, it can also elect to not pay him.
Of course, JPP also won’t get paid as long as he’s not under contract, but if he doesn’t sign his deal before the season gets underway, he’ll only forfeit salary a week at a time, rather than risking losing a six-week chunk at once.
The Giants’ defense has been somewhat banged up so far this summer, particularly in the secondary, so if Pierre-Paul is close to being able to return to the field and get some pressure on opposing passers, it would be a significant boon for that unit.