The New York Giants are convinced star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is fully healed from a fireworks accident that severely damaged his right hand.
They believe that so much that they have given JPP a four-year contract worth about $68 million.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Pierre-Paul told the Giants’ website Friday. “I couldn’t imagine me being anywhere else.”
Two summers ago, on July 4, Pierre-Paul’s right hand was severely damaged in a fireworks accident in Florida. He missed the first half of that season, but returned for the final eight games. He started all 12 games he played last year and has a strong finish as the Giants made the playoffs.
The 28-year-old Pierre-Paul said: “I’m back for four years and I’m ready to get after it.”
“It means a lot to me, because I started here, and obviously I want to finish here,” the two-time Pro Bowler said. “I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, especially in my (2010 draft) class. I’m the only one left in my class here. It means a lot. We won a Super Bowl here, and I’m looking forward to putting a fifth trophy in the case.”
The team gave Pierre-Paul the franchise tag last month for the second time in three years.
“We’re happy to get a long-term deal with Jason,” General Manager Jerry Reese said. “Not only is he one of our best players, he is one of our leaders.”
Pierre-Paul missed the last four regular-season games and the playoff loss to Green Bay with a core muscle injury that required surgery. He finished the season with seven sacks, 53 tackles (35 solo), eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.
The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed defensive tackle Frostee Rucker to a one-year contract, retaining a veteran presence on the line after losing Calais Campbell in free agency. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Rucker, who is 33, appeared in 13 games last season with 25 tackles and a forced fumble. … The Seattle Seahawks are bringing back two of their own free agents, agreeing to terms on new deals with tight end Luke Willson and cornerback DeShawn Shead. … The Buffalo Bills have signed three free agents, including cornerback Leonard Johnson. Johnson has five seasons of NFL experience, including last year playing for new Bills Coach Sean McDermott in Carolina. Buffalo needs depth at cornerback after losing starter Stephon Gilmore and cutting primary backup Nickell Robey-Coleman. The Bills also signed running back Joe Banyard and receiver Corey Washington.