That’s right. The Machine is back with a brand new teabag. And this one’s going to blow you away (pun intended). So let’s light this candle and get this party started.
First, happy belated Fourth of July. The Machine went full ‘Murica over the weekend: we caught a major league game, drank a wheelbarrow full of beer, and of course, fireworks. We were a Toby Keith concert away from hitting the ‘Murica cycle. Yes, we love the Fourth. To us, it’s the official kickoff of summer. The days are longer, the beer is colder, baseball is starting to become slightly more relevant, and training camp is right around the corner. But it’s inevitable that someone will take their love of the Fourth a bit too far, and that leads us to our Tuesday Teabag winner…Jason Pierre-Paul.
Is there anyone that’s having a worse post-Fourth hangover than JPP? Well, maybe Jared. Or Donovan. But JPP’s right up there. If you haven’t heard, JPP spent his Fourth of July with a U-Haul truck full of fireworks. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, a lot. Pierre-Paul allegedly injured himself setting off fireworks, causing severe burns and significant damage to his hand. The extent of the injury is unknown, some reports say there’s possible nerve damage. Thanks to social media (and nosy neighbors) we got the play by play.
So this Jason Pierre-Paul thing sounds pretty bad. pic.twitter.com/EVKrqPgzLU
— PastADivingFlores (@_mistermet) July 5, 2015
While JPP’s injury may not be career threatening, it’s certainly going to be career limiting. This couldn’t possibly come at a worse time for JPP. The Giants designated him as their franchise player, meaning he would play this year at a (fully guaranteed) price of $14.8 million. JPP has not signed his franchise contract yet…preferring to hold out while trying to agree to a long term deal. All franchise players have until July 15 to sign a long term contract with their team. After that, their only option is to sign their one-year franchise contract.
The Giants reportedly had a multi-year, $60 million contract on the table. Care to guess what happened to that? Yup, the Giants have withdrawn that offer, obviously wanting to see the extent of the damage that was caused.
Making matters worse is that JPP had some leverage in his negotiations with the Giants. He was coming off a very good year, re-establishing himself as a top tier defensive end. The Giants maybe would have moved up their offer a little, in hopes of him signing a long term deal now…but there’s zero chance of that happening. Even if he plays up to the level he did last year, this injury will just add to the growing list of injuries…which will further drive down his price if he becomes a free agent. Now, JPP will have to prove himself even more this year. And if he has to miss any games because of this, his price tag will continue to drop.
Making matters ever worse is he could stand to lose $14.8 million for this season. Generally speaking, the franchise contract is fully guaranteed. So, if JPP were to hurt himself in Week 1 and miss the rest of the season, he would still receive all of his $14.8 million. There is one, minor exception to that rule…for a non-football related injury. In that situation, the franchise money is not guaranteed. The Giants could cut him and not owe him a dime. FYI, this is why players and the league fight over CBA negotiations.
And that’s what’s most troubling at this point. While reports say JPP should be fine, he’s (a) still in the hospital, and (b) the Giants medical staff has not been allowed to see him. Those are not exactly promising signs. Update: he’s not fine, in fact, he had his right index finger amputated.
JPP needs to get over himself and get his ass back to NY for some serious damage control. Is he going to be ridiculed by his teammates and the entire city of New York? Yes. Should he be? Yes. JPP can certainly dish it, but these next few weeks will determine if he can take it. He needs to play the part of the embarrassed, humiliated and humbled athlete. If instead he takes the spoiled child, I’m beyond reproach route (a/k/a the Tom Brady) then he risks severing more than just his finger.
Let this be a lesson to you kids: wait until after you sign your long term contract before you buy a truckload worth of fireworks. Also, find a friend to light that shit up.
Enjoy your teabag.