The Case for Re-Signing Daniel Jones


Daniel Jones has shown significant signs of improvement in 2022. (Courtesy of Twitter)

After the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, the New York Giants will be faced with many tough choices on the direction they want to go for the future of the franchise. With quarterback Daniel Jones and star running back Saquon Barkley both becoming free agents this winter, general manager Joe Schoen will be faced with some difficult decisions. They could make one of these offseason decisions easier by extending Jones to a short-term contract before the season ends.

After 15 seasons of having Eli Manning serve as the starting quarterback, the Giants decided to move towards a new chapter of the franchise in the 2019 draft. They took Jones with their first-round pick at number six overall. After this, it did not take long for him to take over the starting role. With Manning getting off to a slow start, they had already named Jones the starter by week three. During his rookie year, he showed flashes of becoming the Giants next franchise quarterback with some very good performances, including a 352-yard, five-touchdown game against the Washington Commanders. Although there were some bright moments in Jones’ rookie year, there was one glaring issue in his game: turnovers. Jones threw 12 interceptions and fumbled 19 times, losing 11 of them, both of which led the NFL. This was obviously a concern, but understandable as he was a rookie and still adjusting to the league.

Unfortunately, Jones did not fix this problem the following season. In 2020, he was second in the league with 10 fumbles. On top of this, whenever the team started to gain any momentum, he struggled to stay on the field in both 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the Giants were making an unexpected playoff chase due to the NFC East being one of the worst divisions of all-time that year, and Jones missed two critical games at the end of the season with an ankle sprain. In 2021, he missed five games with issues to both his ankle (again) and his neck at the end of the season.

2022 has been a much-improved season for Jones as he tries to prove that he is a future starting quarterback in the league. He has had a lot to prove as the Giants declined his fifth-year option on his rookie contract, making him a free agent at the end of the year. In the 2022 season, Jones has stayed on the field for every game so far. He has also limited his turnovers, becoming one of the league leaders for fewest turnovers. Through the first nine games of the season, he has only thrown two interceptions, which is tied for the least interceptions by qualified quarterbacks in the league. He has also fumbled only three times, with just one of them being recovered by the defense. 

Jones’ ability to limit turnovers along with his great mobility has made him a good quarterback this year with great potential. He is still working with an extremely depleted receiving core that has dealt with injuries to Sterling Shephard and Wan’dale Robinson, off the field drama from Kadarius Toney who barely played at all before getting traded and extremely poor play from expensive 2021 free agent signing Kenny Golladay. Jones’ ability to manage the game well and be efficient enough to win a lot of games has been very impressive. Although his total yards and touchdowns have not been that high, this is due to the offense being very run based. In the throwing opportunities he’s had, Jones has performed well. He has the highest completion percentage of his career even with a lot of drops from receivers and is ranked eighth in the league in quarterback rating. The longer Jones continues this level of play, the more expensive he will become.

As of now, Jones would still not require an expensive contract compared to a lot of other free agent quarterbacks. Signing him to a two-year, $40 million contract would be low risk and give him the opportunity to establish himself as a star quarterback and become the future franchise quarterback. If he underperforms, he is not locked up to a long expensive contract, and the Giants could decide to draft a new quarterback or sign a free agent in the next year or two. Signing Jones instead of an already established star quarterback also saves a lot of money that can be used in areas that the Giants need more than quarterback. With this money, New York could sign a better receiving core, deepen their offensive line and potentially sign a new running back if Saquon does not get re-signed. Re-signing Jones to a short-term contract would give the Giants the best chance to improve their team, while still having the potential of Jones developing into one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks.