Could Oakland Raiders Make A Play for Jason Pierre-Paul?


Despite the Oakland Raiders being a vastly improved team heading into training camp in the run up to the 2015 season, they still need to address a few things. Perhaps the biggest question mark heading into camp surrounds the Raiders’ ability to get after the quarterback. Despite amassing just 22 total sacks in 2014, Oakland has improved their defensive front, but hasn’t visibly improved their pass rush. But there is a scenario that could play out that could potentially help them answer that question.

Jason Pierre-Paul.

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Setting aside his fourth of July injury concerns – it’s been said that having his finger amputated on Wednesday will actually speed his recovery – Pierre-Paul could be a fantastic addition to an Oakland team that is in dire need of pass rushing help. Having notched 12.5 sacks last season, and 42 total over his five season career, if they could somehow pull him out of the Big Apple, it would instantly give the Raiders a legit pass rush, not to mention a solid mentor to the young guys like Mario Edwards Jr.

With more than $16 million dollars still under the cap to spend, unlike a lot of other teams in the league who need pass rushing help, the Raiders can afford to pay him. Not only that, but Oakland has his former mentor Justin Tuck on the roster, who could prove to be a fantastic recruiting tool if Pierre-Paul did happen to become available.

Of course, Pierre-Paul becoming available is far from a sure thing at this point. But the possibility does still exist.

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Negotiations on a long term deal weren’t bearing much fruit when the Giants slapped Pierre-Paul with the franchise tag. But it is believed that Pierre-Paul wanted a little long term security with any potential new deal. To that end, the Giants had reportedly offered him a long term deal worth around $60 million dollars – a deal that Pierre-Paul was reportedly not willing to accept.

In the wake of his accident, the Giants have reportedly withdrawn that offer, saying that it’s “not in the best interest of either side at this time.”

Which leaves Pierre-Paul to play on the franchise tag the team applied to him this offseason. However, he has not yet signed it, and only has until July 15th to do so. If that deadline passes without a new deal, Pierre-Paul would have to play for the Giants for the franchised tender amount – which is a robust $14.8 million for the year. It would also prohibit him from signing any new deal until after the season ends.

However, there is quite a bit of acrimony building up between Pierre-Paul and the Giants, with some speculating that he is trying to force them to remove the franchise tag and set him free to become a free agent, able to sign anywhere.

The hard feelings between Pierre-Paul and New York seemed to manifest this week when he refused to meet with Giants trainers and special consultant (player liaison) Jessie Armstead who’d flown to Florida to meet with him and assess his injuries.

The Giants obviously hold most – if not all – of the cards in this situation. If they don’t rescind the franchise tag, Pierre-Paul will have no choice but to play for them. However, if it appears that the differences between Pierre-Paul and the team are in fact, irreconcilable, the possibility exists that they could rescind the tag just to avoid all the drama of what would likely be a messy divorce. And if there’s one thing crotchety old Tom Coughlin hates, it’s drama.

Should that happen – and we acknowledge at this point, the chances are relatively remote – Reggie McKenzie, Jack Del Rio, and Tuck should be on the first plane to New York to bring Pierre-Paul to the East Bay.

While Pierre-Paul wouldn’t command Ndamukong Suh type money, he would still require dropping a pretty penny to obtain his services – which is not the typical McKenzie MO. But considering that he was willing to open up the purse strings a bit to pursue Suh, Randall Cobb, and even DeMarco Murray, McKenzie showed that he’d be willing to spend in the right circumstances.

And given their need for a legit pass rusher, one would have to assume that those are the right circumstances. Pierre-Paul’s presence on the Raiders’ line would take that unit from really good, to absolutely outstanding. A front seven that includes Tuck, Justin Ellis, Dan Williams, Pierre-Paul, Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, and Curtis Lofton would be one of the more intimidating and ferocious units in the league.

Quite a few things would have to fall into place to make this a reality. But as the tension and the standoff between Pierre-Paul and the Giants continues, it could be a distinct possibility. And if it does, Mark Davis, McKenzie, Del Rio, and Tuck need to be there, checkbook in hand, ready to pounce.

Next: Retaining McKenzie Not Offseason's Riskiest Move