For quite some time, Daniel Jones will be the Giants’ quarterback (Or at least for the next four years).
But the doubters should be pushed aside. Gm Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll confirmed Jones is their guy with his four-year, $160 million deal. Since they arrived, both have sung his praises, and they stamped it with his new contract.
Whether or not Jones can have the kind of storybook career Eli Manningwill be decided, but he will be given the chance.
Schoen and Daboll also took the logical way out with Jones’ situation by signing him, and not being hit with a $32 million hit on their salary cap by placing the franchise tag on him.
Instead, they did it with Saquon Barkley, who will make $10 million instead of the $12.5 million that was offered to him. Barkley had the non-exclusive franchise tag slapped on him, meaning another team could try and sign him, but it would cost them two –yes, two – first-round draft picks.
The Giants would have the right to match, but Schoen would take the two top picks instead. Don’t expect this to happen in either scenario.
Schoen does realize that he and Daboll have turned the franchise around, and now they both have to keep it headed in the right direction.With a playoff win last year, expectations will be higher this fall. They can’t regress, and they shouldn’t.
Recently, Schoen stated that he wanted to keep Jones and Barkley together, and he was “mapping out a solution” for a long-term deal for Barkley. Based on keeping his word with Jones, you have to believe him.
Barkley played in all 16 games – the starters were benched in the season finale – and he had a career-rushing year of 1,312 yards. It was his most games since his rookie year, and he appeared in 13 of 16 regular-season games in 2022.
He has passed the durability test the past two years after there were plenty of questions whether Barkley could be a 20-carry per game back.
He is 26 now, and a four-year deal would be sufficient. Age 30 is the high bar for running backs in the league.
Barkley is one of the key pieces that has to be around Jones in 2023. The Giants have a healthy $44 million in cap space, and nabbing a top receiver is at the top of the list. There have been rumors of an Odell Beckham Jr. reunion, but that’s unlikely.
Beckham has dangled himself in front of the Cowboys over the last year, and they haven’t taken the bait. That should tell you something.
Their cap money will also be used to enhance the offensive line as well as the defense.
They do have tight end Daniel Bellinger and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who both developed last year. Darius Slayton emerged as the receiver the Giants expected him to be.
A new Barkley deal could happen in July, and that would truly cement the situation.
Before then, the Giants could sign recently released Vikings’ wide receiver Adam Thielen or decide to give Sterling Shepard another try.
Whatever they do, the Giants must reach for the top shelf and not settle for anything underneath.
They have their quarterback, and now they must seal some more foundations.