Giants’ Daniel Jones deserves to show what he can with a real supporting cast

saquon barkley, new york giants, daniel jones
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrate Jones' second touchdown in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford. Nfl Ny Giants Vs Chicago Bears

Imagine Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen with Richie James as a focal point on offense. That is what New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has had to work with the past few weeks, despite the emergence of Isaiah Hodgins and decent play from Darius Slayton.

Neither Hodgins nor Slayton are starting on a good offense, realistically, let alone getting meaningful reps. The Giants have had to steal players from opposing teams’ practice squad players just to present Jones with targets.

James has muffed two punts this season and dropped a critical 3rd-and-5 against the Minnesota Vikings, but still remains a focal point on offense, which should tell you all you need to know about how thin the Giants are in the playmaker department.

The New York Giants owe Daniel Jones a better supporting cast:

With that being said, Jones has done everything in his power to elevate the offense, throwing for a career-high 3,028 yards and recording 13 touchdowns, his highest since the 2019 season. He’s produced a career-low five interceptions with a 1.1% interception rate, one of the best metrics in all of football.

While offensive coordinator Mike Kafka has played a conservative strategy, limiting risky throws downfield, he still managed to help the Giants put enough points on the board to win eight games this season.

Big Blue has a big decision to make with Jones after the 2022 campaign comes to an end. They can franchise tag Jones at about $45.2 million or extend him on a multiyear deal, which seems to be more probable.

Paying Jones $20-25 million per season for the next two or three years might be a suitable contract, especially since he hasn’t necessarily proved enough to be coined the team’s franchise passer. However, he’s earned the right to experience a unit with better playmakers and consistency, especially with John Mara changing the surface of MetLife Stadium next season to help mitigate injuries.

The NFL’s free agency class at the wide receiver position is extraordinarily thin next off-season, so general manager Joe Schoen will have to target the draft to help his offense. In addition, he could trade for a veteran pass catcher, offloading Kenny Golladay in the process and saving $6.7 million.

There’s also a big decision regarding Saquon Barkley and a potential extension, but reports indicated he was looking for a deal in the Christian McCaffrey territory. That would pay him $16 million per season, which seems extremely optimistic on his behalf. The team should stay far away from a contract of that magnitude for running back, rather investing in the interior offensive line or allocating it toward a veteran receiver via trade.

There are plenty of ways that Schoen and Brian Daboll can improve the offense, but the NFL draft seems to be a good start since the free agent market will be thin. In fact, the group will be headlined by Giants’ Darius Slayton, which is a sad reality.

Given the fact that Jones has reduced his turnover problem significantly, all but alleviating any concern in that category, it is just a matter of building on his tangible traits. He has an 80.8% adjusted completion percentage this season, which is calculated by completions + drops divided by aimed passes.

Jones has completed 10 of 23 attempts on throws 20+ yards downfield, accruing 359 yards and two touchdowns. We saw him connect on two major passes to Hodgins and James against Minnesota, showcasing his arm talent and accuracy downfield.

With more playmakers, Kafka and Jones will have more opportunities for explosive plays, but for now, the Giants will remain conservative and mitigate turnovers to help control field position.