The NY Giants have a big problem right now. A $160 million problem. When Big Blue signed Daniel Jones to his four-year, $160 million contract back in March, many thought the Giants had their franchise quarterback to lead the team in the present and into the future. It was a big risk, though, as Jones had just completed his first winning season as a pro.
But after all of the failures before the 2022 season, Jones got the Giants to the postseason and even won a playoff game, which helped him land that contract last offseason. There was a bit of a mixed reaction, as many were happy and excited to see the Giants starting quarterback get his due. Others still weren’t sold on Jones and to this day, still aren’t. The ones who aren’t sold on Jones have been the loudest lately.
With a 1-3 start to the 2023 season, and with the possibility of a 1-5 record staring the Giants in the face, those criticisms of Jones not only continue to get louder, but they are starting to grow. The ones who supported Jones back in 2022 and were in favor of him getting his contract are now turning on him. Things have gone from bad to worse and Jones is making terrible mistakes. In this piece, we take a look at four reasons why he's simply not the QB of the future for this organization:
4. The contract doesn’t make Daniel Jones the long-term answer
When Schoen signed Jones to the four-year, $160 million deal, he did so at the very last second. Earlier on in the negotiations, Schoen had a number in mind. Jones’ camp reportedly wanted as high as $47 million per season, which the Giants weren’t going to meet. This led to the negotiations being dragged out to the final day of the franchise tag deadline, in which, Jones got the deal signed before 4 p.m., and then the Giants had to quickly turn and submit the tag on Saquon Barkley.
The nay-sayers on Jones always felt that Barkley should have gotten paid before Jones did given Barkley was the more proven commodity to the team over Jones. Maybe the Giants should have let Jones test the market in free agency and come back to the Giants if he couldn’t get what he wanted. Some even felt the Giants panicked when they signed Jones to that deal because no other team was giving him that kind of money.
After all, during the same free agency period, the Seahawks gave Geno Smith a three-year, $75 million deal. The Saints gave Derek Carr a five-year, $125 million deal. The Raiders gave Jimmy Garoppolo a three-year, $67.5 million deal. Many felt those deals were not only fair, but that they were also team-friendly. Jones had just delivered the Giants their first playoff win since Super Bowl 46 and the Giants didn’t want to run the risk of going into 2023 without a quarterback set, so Jones was it.
But the contract came with a catch. Two possible outs. The first one comes after the 2024 season. The Giants can cut Jones after the 2024 season and save $19 million in salary cap space with a $22 million dead cap hit. If you really want to know when this is coming, it will be in April’s 2024 NFL Draft.
With the way the season is progressing, the Giants could be in line for a top draft pick and then the decision looms. Will they stick with Jones past the 2024 season? Or will the Giants decide to take their own quarterback? In the first two drafts under Schoen and Brian Daboll, they have passed on them. But they might not in this third one.