Source: Tag looms for Pierre-Paul

The New York Giants will use their franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul if the two sides fail to reach a long-term deal by March 2, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday.

With the salary cap expected to rise to close to $145 million, the Giants, who want Pierre-Paul back, have plenty of room to keep him on a one-year franchise tender salary that could be as much as $15 million.

Sources told Dan Graziano of on Friday that Pierre-Paul expects to be designated with the franchise tag.

Tagging Pierre-Paul wouldn't preclude a long-term deal, but it would keep him off the open market when free agency begins March 10.

The 26-year-old Pierre-Paul, who had 12.5 sacks last season, is likely to be disappointed with the franchise designation, as he has been looking forward to hitting the market and selling himself to teams as an elite pass-rusher worthy of a megadeal like the one that St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn signed that pays him $14.25 million per season.

The Giants, however, harbor concerns about injury and inconsistency and so far have been hesitant to commit long-term, top-of-the-market pass-rusher money to him.

The 2010 first-round pick has 42 career sacks, including 16.5 during the team's 2011 Super Bowl season.

"The goal is for him to be a Giant and play as a Giant forever and retire as a Giant," coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday. "How that works out is another issue."

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano of contributed to this report.

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