Despite the New York Giants‘ previous challenges under former general manager Dave Gettleman, new GM Joe Schoen has retained some key players while also preserving financial flexibility.
Although Saquon Barkley’s off-season journey concluded in a one-year, $11 million deal with an added $900K incentive to reach training camp, the Giants have made significant progress.
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Daniel Jones’ Contract Extension
Firstly, they signed quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal, which includes a potential exit clause in 2025 that would incur $18 million in dead money.
Jones’ salary cap hits for the 2023 and 2024 seasons stand at $21.75 million and $45 million, respectively. While a substantial part of the team’s dead money will be felt in the initial two years ($82 million in 2023 and $63 million in 2024), the Giants retain the flexibility to switch quarterbacks if necessary. Schoen and the front office’s smart deal offers financial security if Jones’ performance declines.
Excitement Around Jones’ Potential
Following a strong 2022 season, the Giants are optimistic about Jones’ potential. He recorded a career-low five interceptions, accompanied by 15 touchdowns and 3,205 yards. His completion rate of 67.2% was a career-high. However, the team aims to add more explosive plays to the offense, which could lead to significant statistical variations.
Andrew Thomas’ Extension
The Giants also extended Andrew Thomas’ contract. The five-year, $117.5 million contract extension, including $67 million fully guaranteed, pairs him with Jones for the foreseeable future. Thomas’ contract becomes fully active after the 2023 season, and like Jones, his dead money will likely be frontloaded.
Thomas’ Promising Performance
Thomas enjoyed an outstanding 2022 season, surrendering a sack only once every 329 offensive snaps over the past two years. Despite four sacks in 1,173 snaps last season, most occurred when he was ill. His high grades among offensive tackles validate his contract at just 24 years old. As a former first-round pick, he will play a crucial role for the Giants, providing Jones with pocket security.
Extending Dexter Lawrence
Another significant off-season move was the extension of Dexter Lawrence’s contract with a four-year, $87.5 million extension. Despite his cap in 2023 being just $6.6 million, the Giants will bear a $46.5 million dead money hit this year and $39.8 million next season. The team has an out option in the 2026 off-season, which would incur $8.8 million in dead money.
Lawrence’s Dominant Performance
Despite his 342-pound weight, Lawrence played 977 stops last year. As the Giants’ primary run-stopping unit, he racked up 53 tackles, a career-high 70 pressures, nine sacks, 26 quarterback hits, and 35 quarterback hurries. His 42 stops in the run game were a notable defensive metric.
Strengthening the Defense
Regarded by many as the team’s top defensive player, Lawrence is surrounded by a bolstered run-stopping unit, including linebacker Bobby Okereke and DTs Rakeem Nunez-Roche and A’Shawn Robinson. Schoen’s emphasis on retaining top talents displays his commitment to fostering a successful team culture.
The Future of the Giants
The next step for the Giants is to capitalize on their draft picks, an area that suffered due to injuries in 2022. The decision to replace MetLife’s turf, which was associated with several pre-season ACL tears, demonstrates forward-thinking planning by the Giants.