Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul, also known as “JPP” will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason after signing a one-year “prove it” deal last season worth $10 million with the New York Giants. He has said that he would like to return to the Giants next season, however he has also been open about his feelings of wanting a long-term deal. Pierre-Paul has told the media that he will not sign another one-year deal, nor will he play under the franchise tag. Could this be an opportunity for the Jaguars to swoop in and give Pierre-Paul a big money deal to add a veteran pass rusher to the roster?
Overview: Jason Pierre-Paul has the type of resume that usually comes with a player that signs a blockbuster deal during free agency. A two-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl Champion, All-Pro with 365 tackles, 50 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns to his name Pierre-Paul is the type of player that instantly makes any team better. While there is a lot to be excited about already on the Jaguars’ defensive line, with Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler adding JPP would give the Jaguars one heck of a pass-rushing rotation while giving the young players a veteran to learn from.
Pros: As stated above, there really isn’t much JPP hasn’t seen or done in the NFL. Last year alone he registered 53 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and 7 sacks before missing the final five games of the season with a core muscle injury. If he hadn’t sustained the season ending injury there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t have hit double-digit sacks. Also, JPP was coached by Tom Coughlin while Coughlin was still the Giants’ head coach, which could make Jacksonville more appealing to him.
Cons: It has been made very clear that JPP is expecting a long-term deal no matter where he signs. At his current age of 28 that sort of deal would take JPP into his thirties, not an ideal situation for a team that has been preaching about youth and getting younger. Also, there’s his injury history. On July 4, 2015 Pierre-Paul was involved in a severe fireworks accident which led to him having his right index finger amputated. He also missed the last 5 games of the 2016 season with a sports hernia. Perhaps his biggest con is the fact that he’s on record saying he wants to stay in New York. However, maybe his connection with Coughlin and the amount of cash the Jaguars could offer him should they decided to pursue him could persuade Pierre-Paul otherwise.
Buy or Sell: Buy. A defensive line that already features Malik Jackson, Roy Miller, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler Jr. could almost instantly become one of the best in the league with the addition of someone like Jason Pierre-Paul. Also, improving the pass-rush will help improve the secondary, which has become a strength of the Jaguars, by forcing quarterbacks to throw the ball sooner than they want to. If the Jaguars want Pierre-Paul they’re going to have to outbid the Giants, and probably a few other teams, and he won’t be cheap. However, all things considered, I think that JPP is worth the price tag. You know what they say, you can never have too many pass rushers.
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