It was a business decision at the end of the day, but the Giants would certainly like to see DE Jason Pierre-Paul in a Big Blue jersey once again after the season he’s currently having.
New GM Dave Gettleman made the move to get remaining three years of Pierre-Paul’s four-year, $62 million contract off the books this offseason, trading him to the Buccaneers. Well, he has totaled 68 combined tackles, 8.5 sacks,a nd two forced fumbles as he looks like the JPP of old so far this season.
This week, the Giants will have to deal with him as an opponent for the first time, and head coach Pat Shurmur knows exactly what kind of “disruptive” player he can be.
“He plays a lot like he did when he was here,” he said after the Giants had a jog-thru on Wednesday. “He’s very disruptive. He’s very long and I think that’s the thing that makes him. He’s got a good first step and he’s playing at a high level. He’s doing a good job.”
Pierre-Paul noted during his conference call with New York media today that he “had this game checked out since I left there.” He was clearly upset about the way things went down when Gettleman ultimately told him he was traded.
After spending eight years in a Giants uniform, he thought he should have gotten more than a phone call.
“I gave a hard eight years with the Giants, won a Super Bowl there, and the only thing I got was a phone call? I won’t say I was hurt, but it was shocking,” Pierre-Paul said.
Pierre-Paul went on to say that QB Eli Manning was the only teammate to call him, and Manning expanded on that saying he was a great teammate to have around.
He also knows he’ll be hungry to get him to the ground on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“He’s having a great year,” Manning said. “He’s getting a lot of sacks and making plays. I expect him to be fired up. Hopefully we got a gameplan for him, and make sure we try to control him.”
Pierre-Paul was an immediate impact player after the Giants drafted him 15th overall back in 2010. His best season came in 2011 where he finished with a career-high 16.5 sacks to help the Giants to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots later in the season.
Manning was with him through those years, and being one of the team’s captains during that time, he knew he needed to call the veteran lineman when he found out he was traded away.
“You just thank him for being a great teammate, for being a great player,” Manning said when asked what he told Pierre-Paul during that call. “The way he practiced, the way he competed, the way he came back after his injury and fought, and did everything to come back, and be a part of the team, and play well. You hate to lose guys you win championships with and does everything the right way. That’s the NFL, but I just wanted to say I appreciated him as a person and as a player.”