After weeks of painstaking negotiations, the Giants finally struck a deal with quarterback Daniel Jones, signing him to a four-year, $160-million extension that will keep him in New York through his age-29 season. With Jones taken care of, the Giants worked quickly to apply the franchise tag to Saquon Barkley, beating Tuesday’s 4 PM ET cutoff with only minutes to spare.
Coming off their first playoff appearance in six years, the Giants seem thrilled to get the band back together, returning their two best offensive weapons in Jones and Barkley. Still, responses to the news were decidedly mixed with many fans feeling the Giants badly overpaid for Jones, rewarding him off one good season.
While Jones, to his credit, showed impressive progress in his first year under Brian Daboll (the NFL’s reigning Coach of the Year), advanced metrics portray him as little more than a league-average starter, ranking 17th in PFF’s overall quarterback grades and 20th in DVOA. If middle-of-the-pack is Jones’ ceiling, then why did the Giants pay him like a top-10 quarterback?
Before his 2022 breakout, Jones had been summarily dismissed as a failed experiment, an underachieving draft bust with little future as an NFL starter. The Giants had all but given up on him, demonstrating their lack of faith by declining Jones’ fifth-year option. Jones, who recently switched agents, played the Giants like a fiddle, using Barkley as leverage while still giving the appearance of a “team player” by accepting $5 million less than his reported asking price (he was seeking a ludicrous $45 million annually).
With the way quarterbacks are now paid—even mid-tier ones like Jones—his $40-million AAV could end up being a bargain (once seen as ambitious, Josh Allen’s six-year, $258-million extension has aged like wine), especially with the salary cap rising steadily each year. Of course, the opposite scenario is just as likely, with Jones’ prohibitive salary making it hard for the Giants to improve his supporting cast, increasing his risk of injury by forcing him to run more.
Jones hinted at his potential last season, proving surprisingly effective, especially as a ball-carrier, setting a franchise record for quarterback rushing yards (708). But he certainly didn’t give the Giants a hometown discount, burdening them with an expensive contract that, depending on whether Jones takes the next step in his development, could age poorly.