3 Giants Players at Risk: Who has the most to lose in 2024?

NFL: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have a number of players hoping to leverage big seasons into future contracts or to maintain their spot on the roster at all. Of course, the most scrutinized is Daniel Jones, who, according to general manager Joe Schoen, is expected to take command of the offense in a much more significant way. Schoen emphatically stated, “This is Daniel’s year,” after two seasons of inconsistent performance and an ACL tear in 2023.

Daniel Jones: A Make or Break Year

The Giants face significant stakes this upcoming year, especially head coach Brian Daboll, who needs to orchestrate a far more competent offensive performance, now relying more on the passing game following Saquon Barkley’s departure to division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Three Giants Facing Critical Seasons in 2024

Jones’ Financial Crossroads

Schoen built an out after the second year in Jones’s four-year, $160 million contract. The Giants stand to save $19 million at a minimum if they cut him after the 2024 season. They have also drafted Malik Nabers with the 6th overall pick and reinvested in the offensive line, hoping to enhance the support around Jones.

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Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The veteran quarterback has never had this array of playmakers and a promising offensive line compared to the past five years, so excuses for underperformance are dwindling. Coming off a year where he tossed 160 passes, producing 909 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions, Jones faces immense pressure to eliminate mental errors and secure his future with the Giants, or else risk becoming a free agent.

Evan Neal’s Shaky Future

The Giants’ former 7th overall pick in 2022, Evan Neal, underwent foot surgery following the end of the 2024 season and is nearing 24 years old. He has not met expectations over his first two NFL seasons and has yet to start tweaking his fundamentals or working alongside the team post-surgery.

Neal played 460 snaps last season, surrendering 29 pressures and two sacks with five penalties. With two ankle injuries already, he needs to work his way back into the Giants’ good graces, a task that appears daunting.

Oct 23, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) leaves the field with an injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Slayton’s Uncertain Tenure

Another player with much on the line this upcoming season is Darius Slayton. The Giants have opted not to extend his contract, suggesting this may be his last season with the team. As the Giants’ leading receiver, Slayton tallied 769 yards and four touchdowns last season with a 65.8% reception rate. However, with the arrival of Nabers and Jalin Hyatt emerging as a primary deep-ball threat, Slayton’s targets—and consequently his market value—could significantly diminish.

Despite the competition, a strong season could position Slayton for a lucrative deal elsewhere, potentially in the $13+ million range annually. This year is pivotal for Slayton to maximize his opportunities and secure his future in the NFL.

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