Reese didn't expect Pierre-Paul to play after hand injury
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese didn't think that Jason Pierre-Paul would play last season after mangling his right hand in a fireworks accident on July 4.
''After you look at that injury, it's really, for me, people like to throw miracle around, I think it's a miracle that he was able to walk out there and play eight games for us,'' Reese said Thursday speaking at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. ''It's really unbelievable after you really see what happened to his hand.''
Pierre-Paul lost his right index finger and parts of two others in the accident. He played last season with his hand wrapped like a club. He had offseason surgery in hopes of improving the dexterity in his hand.
Reese refused to say whether the Giants plan to re-sign Pierre-Paul, who could become an unrestricted free agent next month.
''We know him better I think, than anybody else would know him,'' Reese said. ''We're hopeful that this procedure that he had after the season helps him with respect to the hand injury that he has. I know he's working hard at it.''
Pierre-Paul has said he wants to stay with the team, but it would have to be at the right price. He had a $14.8 million contract last season as a franchise player.
Reese also refused to say whether the Giants plan to rework Victor Cruz's contract. He missed all of last season because of knee and calf injuries.
Cruz, who has not played in a game since suffering his second knee injury early in the 2014 season, will make $7.9 million next season under his current contract.
''Well, he's under contract right now,'' Reese said. ''We'll see where the process goes.''
Ben McAdoo, who replaced Tom Coughlin as coach, has talked with Cruz and expects him to be on the roster next season
With the Giants coming off a second straight 6-10 season, they have roughly $60 million in salary cap space to sign free agents.
''We need good players, that's what we need the most,'' Reese said. ''We need good players, and we'll try to look for good players at every level-offense, defense and special teams. That's what we'll do, that's what's important to us. We need help all over the roster.''
Reese also disclosed that tight end Larry Donnell, who missed the end of last season with a neck injury, still has not been cleared.
''We're expecting him to be back but necks can be tricky. We'll have to wait and see where that goes,'' he said.
The offensive line is also a concern with the release of tackle Will Beatty and guard Geoff Schwartz.
Reese said 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers will remain the left tackle despite an ''up and down'' rookie season.
The team plans to be flexible with Justin Pugh, who moved from right tackle to left guard last season.
''He can play, obviously, both guards, both tackles,'' Reese said. ''We'll put him in the best place available for us to be successful.''
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