JPP reportedly sustained burns and injuries to his hand while blowing off fireworks in South Florida on the Fourth of July (July 5). This morning, those injuries, which are still undisclosed, turn out to be not as serious as the Twitter alarmists reported on Sunday.
He did not lose any fingers and is said to be expected to recover, according to several sources. The full, detailed extent of the injuries have yet to be revealed, but The Post's Paul Schwartz reported this:
"...it is believed Pierre-Paul’s suffered significant burns on his palm and several fingers, and one finger may have sustained nerve damage, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. He was admitted to North Broward Medical Center in Deerfield Beach, Fla., for treatment."
As we all know, JPP is technically not under contract at the moment. He is coming up on the deadline to sign a longterm deal with the Giants, something that doesn't appear to be a possibility after this latest bonehead incident.
He will have to play for the one-year, $14.8 million franchise tender or not play at all. That is, if the Giants don't pull the paperwork. They have that option although they are unlikely to use it. If the franchise designation were to be rescinded, JPP would immediately become a restricted free agent and would be eligible to sign with any team.
The Giants will have to determine if JPP will be able to participate in training camp, which begins July 30, or the regular season. As an unsigned franchise player, he has already missed almost all of the Giants' offseason program, the team drills in particular.
Since he was not injured on the job, the options are limited. He would have to pass a physical in order to participate in full. If his hand is wrapped and deemed unusable, the Giants might have to place JPP on the non-football injury list, which would keep him out of the first six regular season games (Dottino, July 5).
It's hard to believe a player at the financial crossroads of his career would jeopardize his health, and therefore, his future. Then again, it's not. JPP is only 26 and apparently still has some oats to sow. Lots of players still do. But driving around a van loaded with fireworks with small children and nearly blowing your hand off goes beyond that.
The Giants were waffling on JPP before this weekend. They wanted to see if his bounce-back 2014 season was a fluke or not before investing in him longterm.
Remember, this is the team that was at the center of the infamous Plaxico Burress affair several years ago, and may simply decide not to push their chips in to the middle of the table on JPP out of apprehension.
He's certainly making it easy for them. He's officially out of leverage right now, so let's see how the Giants choose to play this.