Giants can be ‘true contender’ according to AFC executive

daniel jones, saquon barkley, new york giants

The New York Giants just had their most successful season in over a decade, winning their first playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. HC Brian Daboll led his team to a 9-7-1 record and a trip to the Divisional Round of the postseason, earning himself the AP 2022 Coach of the Year Award.

The 2022 season was a massive success for Big Blue. But, according to one anonymous longtime AFC executive, the Giants are just getting started.

Giants can be a “true contender” according to an AFC executive

Daniel Jones: “So smart and tough”

Jordan Schultz reports that a longtime AFC executive gave him an interesting take on the New York Giants entering the 2023 season. “I think they can be a true contender,” the executive said. “I think the quarterback [Daniel Jones] is really good. He’s so smart and tough. He’s gotten much better off-schedule.”

Jones is coming off a 2022 season in which he threw a career-high 3,205 passing yards with 15 passing touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions. Jones’ 1.1% interception rate led the NFL. He also posted career-highs in rushing yards (708) and rushing touchdowns (seven) and a career-low in fumbles (six).

The Giants rewarded Jones with a massive contract extension, solidifying him as their franchise quarterback. The next order of business, however, was improving the talent around Jones. The AFC executive feels like New York has achieved this goal.

The Giants’ new playmakers: “Tons of speed”

“[Darren] Waller is the difference maker,” said the AFC executive. “He changes everything. [Parris] Campbell was a good add. We had [Jalin Hyatt] high on our board, but didn’t need a receiver. Tons of speed.”

This AFC executive is clearly impressed by the Giants’ offseason haul of talent on offense. GM Joe Schoen added lots of speed to the offense. The team’s new additions on offense will have a massive impact, but so will the returning talents, like RB Saquon Barkley.

Is an even better year in store for Saquon Barkley?

“Obviously I’m assuming [Saquon] Barkley plays, but as good as he was last year, he will be much better with this team,” the executive told Schultz.

Barkley rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards in 2022 to go along with 10 touchdowns. The 26-year-old rusher placed third in Comeback Player of the Year voting. Heading into 2023, however, there is a bit of uncertainty surrounding Barkley’s future in Big Blue.

The Giants placed the franchise tag on Barkley this offseason, a move that has left the superstar disgruntled. Presumably, Barkley will play on the tag. If he does take the field in 2023, the Giants’ improved offensive line and receiving corps will open up more opportunities for Barkley to make plays.

“The defense could be dominant”

The AFC executive continued, saying “The defense could be dominant.”

This offseason, New York has added plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Their marquee acquisitions include LB Bobby Okereke in free agency and CB Deonte Banks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

DC Wink Martindale put together a competent unit in 2022 despite possessing one of the thinnest linebacker corps and secondaries in the NFL. With added talent and added depth, the Giants’ defense could take a big step forward in 2023.

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