Joe Judge would ‘love to have’ Jabrill Peppers remain with Giants

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New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers, who was voted a team captain over the summer, saw a decreased role under Patrick Graham earlier this season.

Peppers had struggled a bit in coverage, wasn’t being used as effectively as he had been in 2020 and some frustration was obviously beginning to creep in. But that changed in a Week 7 victory over the Carolina Panthers as the veteran safety returned to form and was making plays all over the field.

Unfortunately, that came at a high cost.

Peppers left the 25-3 upset victory with knee and ankle issues. It was later determined that Peppers had not only suffered a high-ankle sprain, but had ruptured his ACL.

Season over. Giants career also over?

Peppers is in the final year of his Giants contract and is likely headed for free agency. How that plays out now given his injuries is anyone’s guess, but head coach Joe Judge offered a blunt take on Wednesday, telling reporters he’d like to see Peppers back in blue next season (and potentially beyond).

“It’s really tough for a guy like Jabrill who puts so much — and I don’t want to speak for him, I’m just speaking from my opinion of him — it’s really tough having a guy like that who puts so much into the team, puts the team first, does everything you ask him to do to the best of his ability, brings so much juice to the team, is a productive player on the field, wears so many hats for you (on) the team and it’s always, ‘Whatever you need, Coach. Here I go,’ and for this to end his season, that’s something you don’t want to see for any player. It’s tough seeing it for Pep, it really is,” Judge said.

“There are some other things (from) the business standpoint, too. Look, this guy is in a contract year, it’s something I’ve talked to him about directly. He’s a guy that I value a lot in this program. I’d love to have this guy going forward, I’ve told him that directly. He’s been a very good leader for us. You can talk about him being local, that the Giants mean something to him. I think that’s very important. He’s a guy that loves football, he loves this organization, he loves this area. Those are things we talk about building as cornerstones and pillars of this program and he’s a very important part of our program.”

The 26-year-old Peppers was a key part of the trade that sent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in 2019.

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