Jason Pierre-Paul Fireworks Accident
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Jason Pierre-Paul Fireworks Accident: Giants DE Suffers Sever Burns that Could Cost Him Millions

by: Esteban On  Monday, July 6, 2015


The franchise tag is a double-edged sword for NFL players. On the one hand, it does guarantee them a pretty hefty salary for one year, and if players are smart with their money they can probably make that hefty salary last the rest of their lives. (I don’t know about you, but I could probably retire on $7 million.) On the other hand, the franchise tag also prevents NFL players from signing an even more lucrative longterm contract with even more money guaranteed. And if a player gets injured or has a down year while playing under the franchise tag, they basically get screwed.

Of course, if you’re a player and you think you got screwed by the franchise tag, there are things you can do to make sure that you don’t get screwed even more. And one of those things would be not blowing up your hand with fireworks, a la New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

According to people on Twitter (as documented by Deadspin), JPP decided to celebrate the 4th of July on Saturday by blowing up an entire truckload of fireworks.

jason pierre-paul fireworks accident 2
And look, here’s Jason Pierre-Paul himself with his cute kid and the truck-o-fireworks in the background:

Unfortunately, the 26-year-old Pro Bowler had some sort of mishap and wound up with severe burns on his palm and three of his fingers—one of which may also have suffered nerve damage. JPP apparently did not lose any of the fingers, and sources told ESPN that there will be no permanent damage or disfigurement. But this is not good for his bottom line.

The Giants placed the franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul this offseason, meaning he was guaranteed a salary of $14.8 million for 2015. While he probably would have preferred to test the free agent market coming off a strong 2014, the reality is that, over five years, he’s had two very good seasons and three mediocre ones. So a one-year $14.8 million deal is pretty sweet.

However, after this incident, the Giants could very well decide they don’t want to pay $14.8 million to a guy with a serious hand injury and poor decision-making skills.

If the team should rescind the franchise tag, Jason Pierre-Paul would become an unrestricted free agent. And if that happens, there’s no way a team would give him a deal with any guaranteed money.

So the lesson here? If you’re a pro athlete with an uncertain contract status, don’t play with fireworks.