Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws a warm up pass before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Giants have a big decision to make regarding quarterback Daniel Jones this off-season. Management has until May to either pick up or decline Jones’s 5th-year option on his rookie contract, which would pay him over $20 million.
The reality is simple, the Giants are still waiting to see if Jones can be a franchise quarterback and lead them into the future, but investing big money in his services before finding that out would be malpractice.
“It seems likely they will pass since he’s yet to show any real consistency in his first three seasons as a starting quarterback and it would mean guaranteeing him $20-plus million for 2023,” Jordan Raanan of ESPN wrote. “It seems inevitable they let Jones play it out this year and if he has a great season, that will present a good problem.”
Three reasons the New York Giants should decline Daniel Jones’s 5th-year option:
1.) Jones is still unproven
Jones has been wildly inconsistent throughout his three-year career, but constant coaching turnover hasn’t done him any favors either. After throwing 24 touchdowns as a rookie, Jones has failed to pass 11 touchdowns over the past two seasons, throwing just 10 in 2021. While his completion percentage has gradually increased, a West Coast-style offense with short passing concepts has mitigated big-play opportunities.
Until Daniel can prove he is a consistent player that can battle through injury and make smart decisions without putting himself in danger, the Giants need to be extremely careful committing money further toward his tenure in New York.
2.) The franchise tag
The primary reason the Giants should pass on Jones’s fifth-year option is they can easily extend him on the franchise tag come 2023. The tag will be close to $30 million for the season, representing a $7 or 8 million increase compared to his fifth-year option, but that bit of money won’t have a significant impact.
The Giants will likely have over $75 million in funds next off-season, so they can fit a one-year deal if need be for Jones. Having the decision to move on in the 2023 NFL draft or continue developing DJ is worth the extra cost.
3.) The 2023 NFL Draft is stocked with quarterbacks
Next year’s draft has a ton of quarterbacks preparing to make the jump, including CJ Stroud out of Ohio State, Bryce Young out of Alabama, Anthony Richardson from Florida, and Spencer Rattler out of USC.
If management wants to go in a new direction, they will have plenty of talent to choose from, so gaining leverage over the situation is essential.