Former Giants offensive lineman defends team’s decision to stick with Daniel Jones

Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up prior to facing the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had a rough 2023 that was filled with both on-field struggles and serious injuries. It was a complete 180 from a successful 2022 season that landed him a four-year, $160 million extension by the Giants.

Similar to the situation entering the 2022 season, 2024 will be a make-or-break year for the 27-year-old quarterback. Evidenced by the team’s decision to take LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers with their first-round pick in the draft, the Giants are giving Jones another chance to prove that he is worthy of being their franchise quarterback for the long run.

Big Blue’s decision to keep Jones was met with some turmoil from fans who wanted to see them land one of the top quarterbacks in the draft such as JJ McCarthy or Drake Maye, though the reception from fans on the Nabers pick has been mostly positive with cautious optimism that Jones will figure things out having an elite target to throw to this upcoming season.

Justin Pugh defends the Giants’ decision to stick with Daniel Jones

nfl: new york giants at tampa bay buccaneers, justin pugh

Former Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh defended Jones and the team’s decision to keep him for this upcoming season. Pugh played with the G-Men from 2013-17 before briefly returning to the team last season.

“I think the Giants did the right thing,” Pugh said on SiriusXM’s The Opening Drive. “Everyone wanted them to go quarterback in the draft. Just continue to surround him with talent and see what he has.”

Jones has lacked true receiving talent around him for most of his career

Daniel Jones, quarterback. The NY Giants NFL team held an organized team activity at their training facility in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday May 30, 2024.
Credit: Tariq Zehawi/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Giants have had numerous attempts at surrounding Jones with offensive firepower that haven’t panned out. Tight end Darren Waller, who was acquired in a trade last offseason, retired from the NFL earlier this month following a series of injuries, and the signing of Kenny Golladay in 2020 didn’t work out as hoped either.

Now with Nabers in the fold, the Giants will rely on their younger receivers to contribute big plays for Jones and the offense as opposed to banking on aging veterans to do such a thing. They fortified the offensive line through free agency, so the next step is to give Jones strong playmaking targets to throw to. Nabers is projected to be the team’s top receiving target, with Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, and Darius Slayton rounding out the receiving corps.

Though the majority of the group is still in its infancy phase, the only way they will be able to truly develop into elite targets is if Jones improves his game. If he struggles again in 2024, the Giants might have to consider moving on from him in order to get the most out of their younger receivers.

For now, Jones remains as the Giants quarterback, and how he performs with a retooled offense will determine his long-term outlook with the organization.

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