EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The New York Giants plan to continue with Daniel Jones as their starting quarterback, general manager Joe Schoen said at his season-ending press conference. It will just be about how they get there.
Jones, 25, will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Giants are planning a long-term deal with him, or they have the franchise tag at their disposal.
“We’d like Daniel to be here. He said it [Sunday], there is a business side to it. But we feel that Daniel has played well this season. He has done everything we asked him to do. … We would like to have Daniel Jones back.”
There was no reason to hold back their plan as a quarterback this offseason. Less than a year after the Giants declined to exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
It put Jones on a probationary year under the new regime of Schoen and coach Brian Daboll. All he did was win them over by putting together the best season of his career, reaching the playoffs and winning a postseason game in his first attempt.
It won over its bosses, who will now build a team around the quarterback who was drafted sixth overall in 2019.
“We are happy that Daniel will be here. We are happy that he will be here,” said Schoen. “Hopefully we can get something done with his reps. That would be the goal, building a team around him that could lead us to a Super Bowl.”
The franchise tag for a quarterback based on a $220 million projected salary cap is $31.7 million.
Talks are expected to take place within the next month; the franchise tag deadline is March 7.
‘It takes two. Both parties are going to have that conversation,” said Schoen. We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. We have tools at our disposal.’
Jones said the day after a 38-7 playoff loss to the Eagles that he wanted to return. Since both sides have similar goals, it seems pretty certain that it will eventually happen.
“I really enjoyed my time here and I want to be here,” said Jones. “I think there’s a business side to all of this, and a lot of it is beyond my control. I love and respect this organization and ownership and the guys in this locker room. So I’d love to be here. I was very sorry nice to be here, and we’ll see how it all works out.”
Jones threw for 3,205 yards this season and completed 67.2% of his passes. He had 15 touchdown passes and five interceptions, but also ran for 708 yards and seven touchdowns.
One by one, he ticked off all the boxes. Turnovers, once his biggest problem, became a strength. Jones had just nine turnovers in 18 starts this season, including the playoffs.
He also remained healthy for the duration of the season. It was the first time in Jones’ four-year career that he did not miss any games due to injury. He also made consistent clutch plays in big pitches during a season in which the Giants won 10 games by one score or less.
“I don’t know if there was necessarily an aha moment or something like that,” Schoen said. “We’ve been constantly evaluating throughout the season and what the coaches asked him to do. He’s executing the game plans. … I don’t know the exact date or time we’re Daniel’s our man, but we’re happy with how he’s doing this season has played.”
The Giants seemed less optimistic about Saquon Barkley running back. Although Schoen expressed a wish for him to return, it didn’t seem nearly as much of a priority.
Barkley had said the previous day that he was not pushing to reset the running back market, where San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey earns an average of $16 million per season.
The franchise tag for a running back is likely to come in at $9.9 million.
“Listen, Saquon has done everything we asked him to do and he is a good footballer,” said Schoen. “Again, the positional value, we’ll get into how we want to build this team and allocate our resources. That’s what it comes down to.
“Once again, he’s a good footballer. He was sustainable for this year. He played well and again, he’s a man we’d like to have back.”
But Jones tops that list.