New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman targeted upgrades in weaponry this offseason, spending big to bring in free-agent receiver Kenny Golladay, then using his first-round pick on speedy wideout Kadarius Toney. The effort was apparent: Get quarterback Daniel Jones as much help as possible.
“Obviously, this will be a big jump,” Gettleman said Monday on WFAN, via the New York Post. “This is the year, Year 2 to Year 3, that Daniel should really make a major stride. We’re looking forward to seeing him thrive.”
Jones certainly has the weapons to flourish.
Dynamic running back Saquon Barkley is, by all accounts, on pace to return from his ACL tear. Gettleman added Golladay, Toney, and speedster John Ross — a former first-round pick — to a receiver corps that already included Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. At tight end, the GM signed steady Kyle Rudolph to bolster the talented but inconsistent Evan Engram.
Gettleman didn’t take another swing at extensive offensive line upgrades, hoping the unit gels with coaching and experience. Instead, he focused on giving Jones the weapons to thrive.
It’s a pivotal season for Jones, who has shown flashes but isn’t close to cementing his spot as a franchise signal-caller. The highs have been outweighed by the lows through two years, including a whopping 29 fumbles in 27 games played.
Coach Joe Judge said on 98.7FM ESPN Radio Monday that one reason for Jones’ struggles in 2020 was the hamstring injury that caused the QB to miss two games and could have knocked him out much longer.
“Look, Daniel is the last guy that’s going to use anything as an excuse,” Judge said. “What I would say about the injury last year is it was much more serious than maybe people thought on the outside. I would say probably 90 percent of players in the league who would have had that injury, including quarterbacks, would have been on IR for the remainder of the year. That’s just the reality of it.
“It was much more severe than maybe he allowed people to know or the information that was put out there, and we’re going to protect our players by not disclosing everything about their injuries, to be honest with you. He fought through a lot of things. He earned a lot of people’s respect.”
Jones earned respect. Now he must earn wins.
Gettleman targeted a weapons upgrade this offseason and unequivocally provided Jones with a plethora of targets. From a genuine No. 1 in Golladay to a do-it-call YAC demon in Toney, to a reliable tight end in Rudolph, to a wild card in Ross, the additions should give the QB the best chance to succeed.
If it doesn’t coalesce for Jones in 2021, Big Blue will be looking at another reboot at finding Eli Manning’s heir.
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