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Jason Pierre-Paul leaves Giants, returns to Florida without a contract

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul uses a towel

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul uses a towel to stretch during training camp on July 27, 2013. Credit: James Escher

Jason Pierre-Paul came, and Jason Pierre-Paul went.

A day after the Giants were allowed to examine his injured right hand for the first time, the 26-year-old defensive end was heading home to Florida without having signed a contract to play for them this season.

He remains on the reserve/franchise tag list and almost certainly will not be collecting the $14.8 million tendered to him. The Giants have not rescinded the tag -- doing so would make him a free agent -- but it's clear they are unwilling to pay full price for what they now believe will be part-time production.

Asked if Pierre-Paul will be on a football field soon, a league source familiar with the situation said: "I would doubt it."

It could take more than a month for Pierre-Paul's hand to heal to the point where the Giants would like it to be for him to begin playing, leaving the sides at an impasse Tuesday.

Pierre-Paul and his representatives seemed to believe he could play in Sunday night's opener against the Cowboys -- his agents sent video of his training to the team, according to NFL Network -- and thereby collect the entire $14.8-million franchise tag tender. It's expected that if Pierre-Paul misses any games because of the injured hand, his salary will be adjusted accordingly, but that has to be negotiated.

According to one report, Pierre-Paul is considering holding out all season if he does not receive his full allotment.

The timing of Pierre-Paul's arrival Monday in the New York area also cost the team one of its options. Since the 53-man roster has been established, the non-football injury list becomes a season-ending designation. Had he seen the Giants before Saturday, they could have placed him on NFI (an unpaid status) but had him return after six weeks. It's likely that is why Pierre-Paul waited until after the weekend to visit the team.

The news surely will sour what was an upbeat locker room Monday as players and coaches eagerly anticipated Pierre-Paul's return. Tom Coughlin even said he would "not rule out" the possibility of having him play Sunday after two days of practice.

Defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. spoke Monday about Pierre-Paul's return being good for "the morale of the unit." He said it didn't matter whether Pierre-Paul was on the field or not.

"To have him back is going to lift everyone's spirit, because every day he's on our minds worrying about him, thinking about him, wishing him well," Ayers said. "To see him back, see his smile and his energy that he brings to this unit, it's really going to lift us up."

That all was before Pierre-Paul met with the team's medical staff and the information was processed.

He spent time visiting with the coaches and front-office personnel Monday afternoon after undergoing a physical examination from team doctors in Manhattan earlier in the day. He was spotted with his right arm still bandaged, which could indicate that wounds are still healing.

Pierre-Paul was hurt in a July 4 fireworks mishap in Florida. Several days later, his right index finger was amputated, and he suffered other hand injuries in the incident.

New York Sports