Two years in Tampa Bay apparently caused Jason Pierre-Paul to forget how his Super Bowl ring was won.
Pierre-Paul’s reaction to Tom Brady joining him with the Buccaneers this offseason is difficult to interpret as anything other than a dig at former teammate and Giants legend Eli Manning.
“I always [asked] myself, “If I had a quarterback like Brady, what would I do?” Pierre-Paul said, according to NFL Network’s Michael Giardi. “Now is the perfect opportunity. It’s not, ‘What would I do?’ Now I can go out and do something.”
Manning beat Brady head-to-head in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, winning MVP honors in both games. Pierre-Paul started Super Bowl XLVI for the Giants in February 2012.
“It’s totally different from all the years I’ve been playing football,” Pierre-Paul said, “and every guy on this team should have that feeling. Like I said, he’s the G.O.A.T. of football. There’s a reason he has six NFL championship rings. You can see it.”
Totally different? Really? Many of Manning’s former teammates are quick to use those two Super Bowl upsets as proof their quarterback is a future Hall of Famer.
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There is no disputing Brady’s place over the youngest Manning in the pantheon of greatness. After 20 years with the New England Patriots, Brady has two more Super Bowl rings than any other quarterback and is neck-and-neck with Drew Brees for the all-time NFL records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.
The Giants traded Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers in 2018 – he has 21 sacks in the last two seasons while the Giants have struggled to generate a pass rush – and this is not the first time he has griped about the organization that drafted him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Pierre-Paul shared hurt feelings when he claimed he did not hear from ownership after the trade, but Giants co-owner John Mara sent an unreturned text message. Manning called to offer gratitude and well wishes, Pierre-Paul said at the time.
Two years later, this under-appreciation is Manning’s thanks?