Giants’ meeting with Russell Wilson included no guarantee he’d start in 2024

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) (New York Giants free agency target) before the game against the New England Patriots at Empower Field at Mile High.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Russell Wilson signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants brought him in to discuss the idea of competing for the starting quarterback job.

At the moment, Daniel Jones remains the expected starter in 2024, despite the fact he’s coming off an ACL tear, and another season-ending injury would guarantee his 2025 salary.

In other words, instead of taking the out in his contract and paying $22 million in dead money, the Giants would have to pay every dollar of his $41.6 million salary hit in 2025, further extending the nightmare that has been unfolding over the last five years.

Jones has had his ups and downs, but the Giants need to consider resetting that window with a rookie passer, which would allow them substantial freedom in free agency next year.

After all, general manager Joe Schoen acquired Brian Burns from the Carolina Panthers and immediately gave him a five-year deal, paying him $30 million per season. The Giants simply can’t afford to pay Jones’s salary and add more pieces down the line unless they take the out in his contract.

The Giants Wouldn’t Even Give Russell Wilson the Starting Job

However, according to The Athletic, the Giants didn’t promise Russell Wilson that he would start in 2024, despite the fact that he’s a much better player than Jones at this point.

Wilson is 35 years old. He threw for 3,075 yards last season, including 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Keep in mind that Jones has never thrown more than 24 touchdowns in a year, capping out back in his rookie season in 2019. Since then, he tossed a high of 17 in 2022, but last year, his health and numbers both trended in the wrong direction.

The Giants’ dependence on Jones returning from a neck injury and ACL tear to lead them to a playoff appearance is not only optimistic, it is bewildering.

The team is much better off handing the keys over to a young quarterback who they can develop in real time and start turning the page to a new chapter.

Of course, that assumes a quarterback is available the Giants are willing to take a shot on, which at this point seems to be unlikely. The first two selections are expected to be Caleb Williams and either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, leaving the New England Patriots with the number three overall pick and plenty of options to consider.

The Giants could trade future draft capital to move up a few spots or stay at number six and hope that J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan drops, which many would consider a reach.

The future is certainly murky for Big Blue, but sticking with Jones is a substantial risk, and the Giants need to operate under the assumption that they may end up with a huge bill if Jones gets re-injured in 2024.

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