GM Dave Gettleman wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to put his stamp on this Giant team. He came in the door last December, reinstated Eli Manning at quarterback and then began to look around for what he could change.
The answer has become clear. He’s changing just about everything. On Thursday, Gettleman decided to dump two-time Pro Bowl DE Jason Pierre-Paul and his egregious contract to the sack-starved Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a third round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The deal is a home run for the Giants. In exchange for JPP, a fourth round pick (No. 102) and his whopping contract, the Giants will receive the Bucs’ third round pick (No. 69 overall) and their fourth rounder (No. 108). The trade only clears around $2.5 million in cap space this season but it gets the Giants out from under the ridiculous contract former GM Jerry Reese agreed to before the beginning of last season (four years, $62 million).
The Giants are saving $12.5M in cash in 2018 because the Bucs will be paying Jason Pierre-Paul's $11.25M base salary, $1M in per game roster bonuses & $250,000 workout bonus. The Giants get $2.5M of 2018 salary cap relief. There's $15M in dead money from his $20M signing bonus. https://t.co/i0b5d5Msbo
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 22, 2018
The Giants now have six selections in the draft this spring: a first rounder (No. 2 overall), a second rounder (No. 34), two thirds (Nos. 66 and 69), and one selection in each of the fourth and fifth rounds (Nos. 108 and 139). That is, if Gettleman doesn’t make any more moves.
Pierre-Paul, besides being overpaid for a one-armed defensive end, was not a proper fit for the 3-4 defensive scheme set to be installed by new DC James Bettcher. JPP is a traditional hand-in-the-dirt 4-3 DE who will now take his wares to Tampa, who were last in the league in sacks last season. The Giants are deciding to fish and cut bait when it comes to DE.
“We appreciate everything Jason has done for the Giants,” Gettleman said. “He was a fine player for us, and he helped our franchise win Super Bowl XLVI. We wish him well in the future.”
The trade changes the dynamic of the draft now. The Giants aren’t thinking quarterback and are clearly in business. They want to bring as many viable bodies as they can right now. A Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb or whoever, believe it or not, is not going to cut it. The Giants could get four high picks for that No. 2 overall selection. They won’t be able to turn a deal like that down.
Theres still five weeks to go before the draft, so the possibilities are limitless. Arizona, Buffalo and Denver may all try to pry that valued pick from Gettleman. Stay tuned.
As for JPP, it appears as if he new the Giants might trade him. He’s been around long enough.
“Thank you to the Giants for the 8 years I spent there,” JPP told NFL Network beat reporter Kim Jones. “They’re making changes; I understand that. Thank you to fans that supported me, and thanks for the great Super Bowl run that we had.”
Pierre-Paul also said Gettleman told him the Tampa deal was “an offer he couldn’t refuse”. He also told Jones the trade would give him the chance to be closer to his family, particularly his son, who all reside in Florida.
What’s next for the Giants? Look for them to keep whittling away at their roster, reforming it to what Gettleman promised – a team full of well-rounded, tough, physical football players.