Jason Pierre-Paul is preparing for the season, just not with the Giants right now.
Jason Pierre-Paul did stop by the Giants’ practice facility on Monday, according to a source. But he was not there to take part in the opening of the team’s offseason workout program.
No, this does not portend a holdout and it’s not the start of a nasty offseason standoff between Pierre-Paul and GM Jerry Reese. The Giants’ star defensive end would not have been able to join the non-mandatory workout even if he had a desire. Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his one-year franchise tag tender, and he did not sign an injury waiver to take part in the workout.
But that doesn’t mean that Pierre-Paul will relax during this phase of offseason workouts. Just after midnight early Monday, the defensive end, who had 12.5 sacks in a resurgent 2014, stressed in an Instagram post that he is training and readying for 2015. He’s been training with Michael Alessi, a Florida-based trainer.
“Back to work tomorrow, I’m laughing right now,” he said, adding three smiley faces. “I’ve been WORKING! Tomorrow lets get it with @malessi2 Let’sGetBetter #90PowerCircle.”
The Giants’ offseason training program began with only weight room work, so Pierre-Paul was not missing any on-field drills. The workouts are also completely voluntary, so players do not need to attend and the team does not take attendance.
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Steve Spagnuolo’s new middle linebacker reached out to a pair of former Spagnuolo stars to learn how he’ll be used in the Giants’ 2015 defense.
Jon Beason said Monday that he’s spoken with Antonio Pierce and Jonathan Vilma for tips on the new ‘D’. Pierce played for Spagnuolo in 2007 and 2008, serving as the middle linebacker on the ‘07 Super Bowl team. Vilma spent one season with Spagnuolo in New Orleans, in 2012.
“They all had good things to say about [Spagnuolo],” Beason said.
Beason, who broke into the NFL in 2007, added that he was a “big fan” of Pierce when he entered the league.
“He (Pierce) was able to not be dictated to (by) the offense,” Beason said. “That made me a fan of Spags.”
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Count Giants quarterback Eli Manning among those who are annoyed by the stringent offseason regulations that prevent players from working out at team facilities for much of the spring. Manning, who spent time with receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle and others in private workouts at Duke recently, called the restrictions “ridiculous.”
“I think it’s a little ridiculous at this level that that’s the case,” Manning said.
But the QB said he understands that the rules were collectively bargained.
“Those are the rules that we decided on,” he said. “And we got to abide by them.”
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New Giants running back Shane Vereen, who spent last season with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, said he will visit the White House with the Patriots on April 23. He does plan to take part in the Giants’ offseason workout program, though.
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