Giants’ GM expresses confidence in Daniel Jones on Hard Knocks: ‘I’m not giving up’

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

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is entering a make-or-break sixth season in the NFL. Despite signing a four-year, $160 million contract last offseason, Jones is entering the 2024 season with his future in question.

The 27-year-old signal caller is coming off a torn ACL which he suffered in Week 9. His season was cut short after making only six starts and tossing only two touchdowns with six interceptions.

In the first episode of the Giants’ “Offseason” edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks, fans were given a behind-the-scenes look at the front office’s decision-making regarding Jones during this pivotal offseason. Ultimately, general manager Joe Schoen expressed his confidence in his quarterback, saying he is not giving up on Jones just yet.

Giants’ GM Joe Schoen declares his support for Daniel Jones: “I’m not giving up”

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) knocks down the pass by New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 8, 2023.

During the first episode of Hard Knocks, Schoen was filmed having a conversation with a few of his most trusted front office executives, including assistant general manager Brandon Brown and director of player personnel Tim McDonnell about Jones’s future. During the conversation, Schoen declared his support for his quarterback and said that he’s not giving up on Jones:

“I’m not giving up on him,” Schoen declared in conversation with his front office executives. “He’s under contract for three more years. Just protecting ourselves because the best predictor of the future is the past.”

Despite rumors of the Giants’ interest in drafting a quarterback swirling all throughout the early portions of the offseason, Schoen declared that he is not ready to give up on Jones. He doesn’t feel like he and his front office did enough to give Jones a fair chance to compete last season.

You could have Pat Mahomes and he can’t f—ing win behind that

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, Giants, Daniel Jones
Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Schoen took things a step further (and maybe a step too far, depending on which Giants fan you ask), when attempting to quantify the amount of adversity that Jones faced last season.

Even before his season-ending injury in Week 9, Jones was battling a neck injury earlier in the season that he suffered in Week 5 against the Miami Dolphins. In that game down in South Florida, Jones was beat up while playing behind an offensive line comprised of backups and practice squad players. Schoen cited that game in particular as a moment where it became particularly difficult to evaluate Jones.

Schoen then argued that no one, not even three-time Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes, could win in that situation:

“All season, the four guys, your core guys that are going to play together, played less than 60 snaps together,” Schoen stated in conversation with his executives. “Miami, we got f–king three practice squad guys playing for us. Nobody can f–king — you could have Pat Mahomes, he can’t f–king win behind that.”

Any comparisons between Jones and Mahomes are sure to ruffle feathers with both Giants and Kansas City Chiefs fans. However, there might be some merit to what Schoen was saying. Jones faced an incredible amount of pressure last season as the Giants’ offensive line surrendered a historically bad 85 sacks across the entire campaign.

But on the other side of the coin, Mahomes just won another Super Bowl with what was considered to be the worst supporting cast of his career. Some quarterbacks elevate the talent around them. Others don’t. The ones who do win football games — playoff football games. The ones who don’t struggle to keep their jobs.

The Giants need to figure out in 2024 which quarterback Jones truly is.

Injury concerns loom large for Jones, Schoen, and the New York Giants

November 5, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) walks to the sideline after an injury against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Schoen’s confidence in Jones, he did make clear his concerns regarding the quarterback’s injury history:

“The reality is, facts — three serious injuries in two years, we need to protect ourselves,” Schoen said, referencing the need to have backup plans. “He didn’t have much of a chance this year, that’s legit.”

Jones has suffered two season-ending injuries in his career in the past three years — a neck injury in 2021 and the ACL tear in 2023. Durability has been a concern for Jones throughout his career as he has missed time due to injuries in every season except for the 2022 campaign.

In order for Jones to maintain his status as the team’s starting quarterback and avoid being released in the 2025 offseason, he will need to play at a high level and stay healthy this season. Schoen and company have made it clear that they are concerned by Jones’s injury history and will be taking the proper precautions to protect the franchise from disaster this season.

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