Vacchiano: Jason Pierre-Paul plays defense against Giants

The tragedy in this bizarre situation is that Jason Pierre-Paul, in one terrible moment, lost a finger and maybe stunted a career that was once destined for greatness. He made one horrible mistake, and the extent of the damage from that is still unknown.

But that’s not the only mystery surrounding JPP, not after he spent four days keeping the Giants in the dark, shunning their visit, and declining their help.

“We really don’t understand why they won’t let us help him,” a team source said. “What are they trying to do?”

If a very fair question for the 26-year-old Pierre-Paul and his agents after news broke on Wednesday that his right index finger was amputated — the result of a fireworks accident on July 4. It is a serious operation with potentially huge consequences, yet somehow the Giants had no idea until they saw the report tweeted by ESPN.

And really, that’s not surprising given what’s gone on the last few days. Almost as soon as the Giants heard about JPP’s accident they dispatched Ronnie Barnes, their VP of medical services, to Miami to check on their defensive star. A few days later they sent Jessie Armstead, their former linebacker who is now a consultant with the team. All they wanted to do was check on JPP, offer some help and gauge his condition.

On Wednesday, they both left, having never even gotten into his hospital room.

Somehow the Giants heard that Pierre-Paul had surgery, but they never heard the details. One team source said the feeling was that maybe he needed a pin to help stabilize his hand. They had no idea an amputation was being done.

And it’s a really odd choice for JPP and his team to keep the Giants in the dark. For one, Big Blue has access to some of the best doctors in the world and plenty of great hospitals in New York. For another, there appeared to be no danger in telling the Giants the truth. They were not even discussing withdrawing his $14.813 million franchise tag, a source said. At worst, JPP would’ve landed on the non-football injury (NFI) list, where he simply wouldn’t get paid until he was healthy enough to come off — and that’s almost certainly where he is headed anyway.

Plus, the Giants have a history of taking care of their injured players. Remember what they did a few years ago with safety Chad Jones, who was in a career-ending car wreck soon after he was drafted? The Giants kept him on the payroll and took care of his medical expenses, even though they were pretty sure he’d never play a down for them. They also kept running back David Wilson around for a year after a neck condition ended his career, too.

Some around the league have speculated that JPP’s agents kept the Giants in the dark so they wouldn’t withdraw the franchise tag. But that made no sense because if the Giants did that, their best pass rusher would suddenly become a free agent. The agents had to know the Giants would prefer to protect one of their top assets, especially when they’d have no financial liability if they placed him on the NFI.

Meanwhile, others have guessed the agents actually wanted the tag pulled since they weren’t too thrilled with it to begin with. Perhaps they preferred to take their chances with a damaged free agent armed with doctors’ reports that said he’ll be fine in a few months But again, the Giants are not that gullible. The agents had to know the team had no compelling reason to surrender JPP’s rights.

At the moment, though, those are all guesses. The truth is the Giants don’t even have any idea why they’re being kept away and out of the loop and JPP’s side isn’t talking. All the Giants know is that they went to Miami offering help and support to one of their players.

For some reason, Jason Pierre-Paul and his advisers turned down the opportunity for help and advice from some of the top doctors and surgeons in the business. For JPP’s sake, the Giants hope that decision doesn’t turn out to be as disastrous as his decision to light that firecracker on the Fourth of July.

Source: MSN Sports

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