Giants’ Daniel Jones takes a step forward, but is it a mirage?

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and general manager Joe Schoen, left, on day two of training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is on track to start in Week 1 of the 2024 season, working his way back from an ACL tear that prematurely ended his 2023 season. During the team’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Monday, Jones took part in 7-on-7 drills, successfully connecting with receivers Malik Nabers and Wan’Dale Robinson. While his performance has been commendable, there is skepticism among Giants fans who are desperate for a long-term franchise quarterback.

Daniel Jones’ Return: A Glimmer of Hope or Another Mirage?

NFL: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins, daniel jones
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jones is in the second year of a four-year, $160 million deal, with $81 million guaranteed at signing. This season, he accounts for $47.85 million against the cap, which is 18.7% of the team’s total salary space.

The Giants have a potential out in his contract after the 2024 season, which would incur $22.2 million in dead money but save them over $19 million, with the possibility of spreading the dead money over two years to maximize savings. With cap hits of $41.6 million in 2025 and $58.6 million in 2026, the team faces significant financial decisions.

The Giants are Thinking Long-Term

Throughout his tenure with the Giants, Jones has shown flashes of excellence during training camps, a narrative familiar to fans over the last five years. However, his regular season performances often tell a different story—marked by errors, turnovers, and poor decision-making. Despite occasional standout games, these are not enough to solidify his status as a top-tier quarterback.

Looking ahead, the Giants are likely to limit Jones’ mobility post-ACL recovery, which had been a significant part of his playstyle. This adjustment means Jones will need to improve his pocket presence and ability to progress through his reads—critical areas he has struggled with. Interestingly, the Giants attempted to trade up for the third overall pick to draft quarterback Drake Maye, signaling that they are contemplating future options beyond Jones.

As Week 1 approaches, Jones is set to start, but the Giants have prepared for contingencies by signing experienced backup Drew Lock, who can competently manage the offense if needed. Despite never having a true number one receiver or a robust offensive line, Jones’ future with the Giants remains uncertain. His hefty contract and the team’s lukewarm commitment to him as their long-term starter make his situation precarious, and upcoming performances will be critical in determining his fate with the team.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: