Giants legend Tiki Barber declares Daniel Jones is ‘not the future’

Giants, Tiki Barber
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants legend Tiki Barber expressed his doubts about quarterback Daniel Jones’ future as the team’s franchise quarterback in a recent segment of “Evan and Tiki” on WFAN radio.

Tiki Barber declares Daniel Jones is “not the future” of the Giants

Following Jones’ season-ending ACL tear, Barber acknowledged the sympathy fans feel for the young quarterback but made it clear that Jones is not the long-term solution for the franchise.

“The Giants fan actually feels sympathy for Daniel Jones. Instead of having ire and disappointment and question marks around who he is and what he’s going to be this year or in the future, there’s actually a sympathetic voice for Daniel Jones. We don’t, as Giants fans, now have to criticize him and speculate about what the future is for the New York Giants at quarterback. Its not Daniel Jones. You’re not saying move off from him, not saying that, but he’s not the future, and in some ways, that’s liberating for Daniel Jones.”

Tiki Barber on WFAN Radio

Jones has always been fighting an uphill battle

When the Giants selected Jones as the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the decision was met with widespread criticism from both fans and the media. Jones was faced with an uphill battle from the start, tasked with replacing the legendary two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning.

Despite the initial skepticism surrounding his selection, Jones showed promise in his rookie season. According to Giants.com, he was the first rookie QB in NFL history with two games of 300+ passing yards and 4+ touchdown passes. Jones accumulated 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in just 13 games, earning him a passer rating of 87.7.

Unfortunately for Jones, his potential was never fully recognized due to various external factors. The Giants’ lackluster offensive lines, absence of a true No. 1 receiver, and a revolving door of coaches and coordinators hindered his development. Even Giants owner John Mara acknowledged the team’s failure to put Jones in a position to succeed.

The hiring of General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll before the 2022 season, presented an opportunity for Jones to turn his fortunes around. Jones showed remarkable improvement, leading Big Blue to their first playoff win in five years. His performance in that game was historic, becoming the first quarterback in playoff history to surpass 300 passing yards, 70 rushing yards, and two passing touchdowns in a single game.

This impressive season from Jones resulted in the Giants signing him to a substantial four-year, $160 million contract heading into the 2023 season. This decision was a reflection of the team’s confidence in Jones’ abilities and his potential to lead the team moving forward. However, the 2023 season took a turn for the worse, with Jones and the team regressing significantly.

A severe regression in 2023

Through just five games, Jones struggled to find his footing, tallying only 909 passing yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions. The offensive line’s poor performance exacerbated his difficulties, leading to concerns about his well-being and potential long-term health risks.

After Jones suffered yet another significant neck injury in Week 5 causing him to miss three games, Barber stressed that if Jones can’t stay healthy his contract would be a waste.

“If he can’t stay healthy because of the hits this quarterback is taking, then this $40 million a year contract gets wasted. It’s gone. … Daniel Jones is durable, he’s tough, you love the kid because of how he wants to be a winner. But he’s getting obliterated, and I don’t know if I would want him back there with this offensive line.”

Tiki Barber on WFAN Radio

Unfortunately, Barber’s concerns rang true as Jones has now suffered two significant neck injuries and a torn ACL in his career. While Jones has displayed immense dedication by putting his body on the line week after week for the Giants, these injuries have started to raise concerns about his durability and how they will impact his level of play in the future.

A new quarterback could be targeted this offseason

With Jones unlikely to be healthy in time for the start of the upcoming 2024 season, and the team’s overall disappointing record of 2-7, it is essential for the Giants’ front office not to overlook the opportunity to draft a quarterback.

Despite glimpses of greatness, Jones’ true potential remains unfulfilled. While he may have been the most viable choice going into the 2023 season, he is not the ideal choice for the future. The Giants are in the middle of a much-needed rebuild, and the wisest choice of action would be to draft a quarterback who can be given the opportunity to fully develop, an opportunity never afforded to Jones.

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