Some bad contracts in the past have created the situation the New York Giants are in right now, which is a three-year postseason drought. With both Jason Pierre-Paul and Antrel Rolle hitting free agency, it’s going to be difficult for the franchise to re-sign and keep both of them.
Pierre-Paul is probably the one they’re more interested in keeping. The defensive end finished with 12.5 sacks this season and 6 deflected passes. He isn’t the player from the 2011 Super Bowl year, but he rebounded from an injury and on most games was the team’s best defensive player – not that it actually helped. The Giants were one of the worst defensive units in the NFL, at least until the season was practically over and things looked better in garbage time.
Pierre-Paul, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro in 2011, is likely to seek a significant increase from his $3.1 million base salary in 2014 and while the Giants are very interested in keeping him, they’re not likely to try and compete with the highest paying teams on the market. JPP is probably thinking about making at least $10 million a season, something only eight 4-3 defensive ends in this league make. Using the franchise tag on him might be the best way out of this jam.
JPP first, then Antrel Rolle. Rolle was the 7th highest paid safety in the NFL until last season, but at 32, those days are long gone. This way arguably his weakest year as a Giant, playing at the Strong Safety position the entire season for the first time. Rolle is probably going to try and get himself a deal that pays him at least $5-6 million a season, but that not a very likely scenario and if he’s not willing to give the Giants a discount, he’s the more expendable of the two players.
Many think that ditching Rolle altogether is the smart idea. It makes it easier to compete for Pierre-Paul with the rest of the NFL, and often players in his position do find someone to pay them big money, and overall, Rolle’s decline was part of the huge problem the Giants had defensively all through this season. Simply letting someone else take him off their hands might be the best financial and professional decision to make.