Daniel Jones is living the good life in the tri-state area. He lives in a neighborhood in Hoboken, N.J., befitting someone who makes $6 million per year. He also doesn’t take a long ferry/subway trip into New York for work, he just drives up the road to the New York Giants practice facility. It’s a good life but it could all be changing in 2023 if his play does not improve this season.
Jones is entering his fourth season as NFL quarterback, and the Giants are giving him the dreaded no-vote of confidence. They have decided not to extend Jones’ contract, so the 2022 season will decide the future of the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
It’s not Jones’ fault that Dave Gettelman spent four years building an abomination of a roster. The Giants had poor offensive line play, no depth in their wide receivers group, and their defense has struggled. This wobbling cart of a football team did not win more than six games in a single season with Gettleman in charge.
While the Giants mess was assembled mostly by Gettleman, the player that he selected in the 2019 draft, Jones, was supposed to be the quarterback to bring consistent winning back to New York NFL football. Instead his on-field decision making has been poor, resulting in turnovers and a lot of bad plays. His rookie season was best touchdown to interception ratio, 24:12, but he fumbled the ball 19 times. Jones has significantly reduced his fumbles the last two seasons — tied for second-fewest in 2021 with seven— but he also threw only 11 touchdowns in 2020 and 10 in 20121.
There’s a reason why, when Jones was recently profiled by the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, that no one in the coffee shop they went to bothered them. Nothing about his play has led to consistent excitement or victory. Put that under a football helmet, along with him being a quiet person and fans aren’t going to feel much for their franchise QB. However, the Giants’ best player, Saquon Barkley can’t stay healthy and their pass protection has been abysmal. Also, in 2020 and 2021 their defense finished 19th and 18th respectively. It’s hard to tell if Jones can cook if there are no spices in the cupboard.
This new Giants regime, led by general manager Jon Schoen, appears primed to turn the franchise back into contenders. They drafted Kayvon Thibodeaux when he slipped to pick No. 5 in the 2022 NFL Draft, and added Evan Neal from Alabama to help that offensive line at No. 7.
The Giants also acquired Kenny Golladay during the offseason. These solid moves should also show that this new front office has a plan. For the first time in his NFL career, Jones will be walking into a huddle with multiple people who are above-average NFL players. His new head coach is Brian Daboll, who did wonders with Josh Allen following his first two subpar NFL seasons. It’s unfortunate that, with a new coaching staff, Allen will be working with his fifth offensive coordinator in his short tenure, but he’s spent his career dealing with instability. While it makes his life harder right now, a well thought out scheme that plays to his strengths is worth trying to shorten the learning curve.
Now, if Jones doesn’t have a career year in 2022, he will be in the free agent pool in 2023. While it’s hard to judge Jones’ play with so much inconsistency on the field, and bad moves off of it, he’s far from blameless. If he gets more time to throw the football this year, he has to show that he can make the decisions and lead his team to something more than simply contending for the postseason every five years or so. Jones had better pick up Daboll’s offensive quickly. This new Giants regime has shown how they feel about Jones’ performance by neither extending his contract or opting into the final year.
The writing is usually on the wall for quarterbacks in this predicament. It’s so hard to find a quarterback in the NFL that it behooves teams to stick with what they have and try to make it work. It hasn’t worked for the Giants at all with Jones, and Daboll and his staff are well aware of that. Jones said to Schwartz that his upcoming contract is not on the front of his mind.
It shouldn’t be. It should be Daboll’s playbook, and tape of Allen for hours every day. Jones needs to get comfortable quickly, so while he wouldn’t admit it to Schwartz, he can show on the field that the problem with the Giants wasn’t him. It was all of the other players that Gettleman brought onto the roster.