All signs point to Daniel Jones staying with the New York Giants for 2023 and beyond, but his high price tag could make it difficult for the Giants to build around him.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had one foot out the door last year, garnering more attention for his curiously long neck than his actual quarterback play. Within the span of a season, though, he not-so-quietly became the team’s quarterback of the future.
Sure, the Giants can regret not picking up Jones’ fifth-year option all they want, but the truth is nobody could have foreseen how the 2022 season would play out.
Nobody could have predicted the impact Brian Daboll would have in his first year as head coach or the triumphant comeback season Saquon Barkley put together just as nobody could predict Jones somehow developing into the Giants’ franchise quarterback.
Jones was 12-25 in his first three seasons in New York, mildly injury-prone, extremely pick-prone, and otherwise lacking as a starting-caliber option under center.
The Giants were prepared to move on from Jones after 2022 and have since done a full 180 — now, they’re looking down the barrel of a pricey contract extension for the star quarterback who led the team to the playoffs. After a season like that, they have to pay him. The question is how much?
Daniel Jones’ new contract could be in $35-37 million dollar range
According to anonymous league executives, Jones’ next contract is expected to command “somewhere between $35 and $37 million,” and executives also said that it would be difficult to justify a $40 million figure for the 25-year-old quarterback.
Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, giving him and the Giants roughly one month to agree to an extension. Compared to other top quarterbacks set to test the market, namely Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, Jones doesn’t have nearly as much bargaining power given his streaky track record.
Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson all got their truckloads of money last year, but one could hardly put Jones in those guys’ tiers.
If the Giants do end up forking over $30 million and change to secure Jones for the long haul, they’ll lose a significant amount of salary cap space and likely struggle to rebuild their roster in 2023.
As of now, the Giants have the third most cap space in the league and will free up more space after Kenny Golladay’s release. They could cut some dead weight to give themselves more leeway, yet they have quite a few premium positions to address this offseason including the wide receiver unit, linebacker unit, and offensive line.
Don’t even start thinking about extending running back Saquon Barkley, either. New York simply can’t afford to pay both Jones and Barkley and may have to pick one to re-sign during this very tenuous transition period.
Will they take this red-and-blue pill or the other red-and-blue pill? Choose wisely.