With the 2022 NFL Draft quickly approaching on Thursday evening, the New York Giants made a decision on the 5th-year options for quarterback Daniel Jones and interior defender Dexter Lawrence.
According to Judy Battista of NFL.com, the Giants declined the 5th-year option for Jones, who failed to take a step forward last season under the leadership of Joe Judge and Jason Garrett. Jones tossed 10 touchdowns and failed to breach 2,500 yards, a number he reached in both his rookie and sophomore seasons.
With the decision to decline his option, the Giants avoided guaranteeing $22 million to Daniel in 2023, putting the ball in his court to justify an extension or moving on with a clean slate.
Since Jones was a Dave Gettleman selection back in 2019, this was the right choice for new management, who owe no allegiance to the former first-round passer. Nonetheless, new management does believe that Jones has all the tangible trades to become a quality quarterback in the NFL, but his time is quickly running out if he doesn’t take the necessary steps forward. If Jones ends up playing will in 2022, the Giants can offer him an extension well under the projected $35+ million franchise tag, given his small sample size of play. That would be best for both sides, giving him a big pay-day and allowing him to progress under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka.
Aside from Jones, the Giants picked up the 5th-year option for interior defender Dexter Lawrence, who will now count $10.73 million against the salary cap for the 2023 season.
Given the Giants have upward of $100 million projected for next year, they can easily afford to retain Lawrence, who should take a nice step forward with defensive line coach Andre Patterson coming over from the Minnesota Vikings. Patterson is known for developing Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen into the pass rushers they are today, suggesting that Lawrence could gain a solid bit of knowledge from the veteran coach.
However, Lawrence has also disappointed the past few seasons, but is capable of being an above-average player. Given Wink Martindale requires his front forward to be stout in run defense, Lawrence is a people mover in that area, giving him solid value. While he did show up to camp a bit overweight, you won’t find many humans at 6’4″ and over 340 pounds that move like Dexy.