EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — 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 had 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.
New York also re-signed backup quarterback Josh Johnson and guard John Jerry.
Former Jets quarterback Geno Smith agreed to terms with the Giants as well, a person with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks are bringing back two of their own free agents, agreeing to terms Friday on new deals with tight end Luke Willson and cornerback DeShawn Shead.
Shead’s deal is for one year and worth up to $1.5 million with $1 million guaranteed, but it’s not as much as he likely would have received if not for a torn ACL suffered in Seattle’s playoff loss to Atlanta in January. Terms of Willson’s deal were not immediately available.
Seattle also signed former Jacksonville, Baltimore and New York Jets linebacker Arthur Brown for additional depth and help on special teams. Brown likely takes the role of backup linebacker previously filled by Brock Coyle, who was signed by San Francisco in free agency.
The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed Frostee Rucker to a one-year contract, retaining a veteran presence on the defensive line after losing Calais Campbell in free agency.
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. Overall, Johnson has five interceptions in 62 career games, including 20 starts.
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, who spent parts of last season on Buffalo’s practice squad.