Giants Were Wrong On Daniel Jones Last Year And New Contract Looks Like Over-Correction Mistake

Videos by OutKick

Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll had a big decision to make not long after they combined forces as the New York Giants new general manager and head coach and so in April of 2022 they looked at quarterback Daniel Jones and saw what we saw.

Question marks.

So the two men together declined a $22.3 million option year for Jones that would have locked him up for the coming 2023. They were not sure he was worth it.

Two days ago the Giants and Jones agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract.

The same player the Giants decided 11 months ago wasn’t worth $22.3 million will now average $40 million over the next four seasons.

And, what’s more, the $82 million in fully guaranteed signing bonus, base salary and roster bonuses Jones is going to get in 2023 and ’24 means he’s actually averaging $41 million per year through 2024.

And this is where I tell you the Giants got it wrong both times.

Head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants talks with quarterback Daniel Jones #8 before a game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Giants Overpaid For Daniel Jones

They undervalued Jones the first time and bowed to desperation to overpay this time.

Tuesday’s deal felt kind of un-Giant-like because Schoen is a very smart general manager and Daboll never blinks in the face of pressure and difficult decisions.

But as these negotiations reached critical mass the Giants gave ground.

So what the Giants have, at least for the time being until other quarterback extensions come in later this year, is a quarterback who is tied with a couple of other players as the seventh-highest paid at his position.

That seventh-highest paid quarterback threw 15 touchdowns passes last season. He averaged 200.3 passing yards per game — the lowest mark of his career.

And, to be fair, Jones also did some very good things last year. It wasn’t all statistics I pick and choose to fit my narrative.

Jones lowered his interception mark and interception percentage. He often played big in big moments. He helped the team get to and win a playoff game.

Jones was … good.

But he wasn’t seventh-best quarterback in the NFL excellent.

Daniel Jones of the New York Giants passes the ball against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Jones Threw 15 TDs and Struggled Vs. Eagles

The Giants are hoping Jones can climb to that level in the next three years they’re bound to him due to the contract’s terms. (Yes, it’s a four-year deal but the structure is such that if Jones bombs the next two or three years, the next Giants brain trust that didn’t award him this contract can release him with acceptable salary cap implications that don’t exist the first three years.)

The Giants, by the way, have a fair expectation Jones will indeed be better because they plan to keep improving the club.

They plan to get Jones a security blanket tight end, like maybe a more consistent Evan Engram who the club didn’t see as a priority last offseason. They plan to get him some playmakers at wide receiver.

But that plan cost the Giants something: Leverage in the Jones negotiations.

The Giants had leverage because they held the franchise tag sword over the contract talks the whole time. Except the Giants didn’t ultimately wish to use that weapon because it would have tied up $32.4 million in cap space.

And the entire plan for improving the team — including signing running back Saquon Barkley and nose tackle Dexter Lawrence — would have fallen apart.

So not having Jones on a franchise tag was vital to Schoen.

Giants GM Joe Schoen didn’t want to franchise Daniel Jones but ultimately used it on running back Saquon Barkley.

Giants Didn’t Want to Franchise Daniel Jones

 “I wanted to know we had our quarterback here and it wasn’t a franchise tag type of deal,” Schoen said Wednesday. “So, to me, that was a worst-case scenario – putting the franchise tag on him. But I also knew I had that as a tool. So, the deal had to make sense for the franchise, both short-term and long-term. That’s what was important to me.

“The fact that we didn’t have to put the franchise tag on him and the way the deal was structured and the years, I think both parties were happy at the end.”

That’s obviously easy to say now. It will be a harder paragraph to articulate a year or two from now if Jones doesn’t play like the top 10 quarterback his new contract says he should be.

The puts the microscope on the front office. And it definitely puts focus on Jones because being overpaid in New York is asking for trouble.

So, yes, Daniel Jones is paid like an elite quarterback and now he has to play like one.

“I’ve always felt that responsibility,” Jones said. “And playing this position, especially for a team like the New York Giants and this city, you have that responsibility. And I take that very seriously. It certainly doesn’t change.

“I certainly do feel that, and it’s my goal to earn that every day and in the offseason while we’re preparing for the season and when we get to the season, doing my best and preparing this team to win games and me to put us in a position to do that. Yeah, I take that responsibility very seriously.”

Jones sounds like a winner when he says this and that’s fitting. He just won at the contract table.

Now, for the Giants’ sake, that has to transfer to the field.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply