What should the Giants do with Daniel Jones? Examining New York’s options entering 2021

Will the Giants turn to Jones or be jonesing for a QB in 2021?

Dave Gettleman and the Giants were heavily scrutinized, criticized and any other -ized words you can think of when they selected Daniel Jones No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. So far, the results have been better than meme-worthy, but have also raised a ton of question marks to Jones’ viability as a franchise QB.

At times, Jones shows promise: he has a solid arm, is mobile, can extend plays. But for every good play Jones has made, he’s been almost equally bad: Through 25 career games, Jones has turned the ball over 38 times (22 interceptions, 16 fumbles lost), resulting in a pretty gross 7-18 record.

The operating words in the above are “at times.” While Jones has tools that evaluators and execs fall in full-bloom love over, his pocket awareness, ball placement and turnover issues have put the Giants in an incredibly difficult position: With a draft class that features as many as six first-round talent QBs, does Jones get another year to figure it out, or will the Giants cut bait early and hit reset at the position?

Before fans scoff at the idea, consider how quick some franchises have been in recent years to move on from first-round QBs for what they felt were better options. The Cardinals sacked Josh Rosen after just a year and NFC rival Washington seems to have pulled the plug on the Dwayne Haskins experiment in DC. Across town, Sam Darnold doesn’t seem much long for the Big Apple, either, and he was selected just a year before Jones.

So what do the Giants do? It’s not easy.

One more year?

Probably the most logical and sensible of their options, Jones will probably get one more year as Giants signal caller to see if he can put it all together for New York.

While patience is a virtue, in the NFL in 2020 doesn’t allow much for that, especially with quarterbacks. Jones is just in his second season and has shown flashes of being a competent franchise passer, but competent doesn’t cut it in today’s NFL — just look at the way that Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa have performed in action this year. While a lot of their success hasn’t amounted to a lot of wins, they’ve all left little doubt as franchise QBs.

It’s the MO for NFL teams to win titles while on a rookie quarterback contract, meaning there’s less time for franchises to decide whether or not they have The Guy under center. Entering Year 3, Jones still has many unanswered questions, with his ability to take care of the ball at the forefront.

In his career, Jones has just four turnover-free games. Of those four games, three of them came in 2020 — Weeks 9, 10 and 12 — which is encouraging trend. Jones did fumble in two of those three games, though. There are other red flags: his pocket awareness and ball placement two of them.

Overall, though, Jones has seemingly regressed in Year 2, his first (and potentially last) under Jason Garrett. As is said, the best thing for a young quarterback is continuity, and putting Jones in his third system with his third OC in as many years doesn’t bode well for his future.

Still, with the Giants playing better in recent weeks — though one of those games didn’t come with Jones taking snaps — it feels like the quarterback bought himself a little more time as the starter, with 2021 likely being the do-or-die season for his career in NYC.  With an ankle injury sidelining him on Sunday night, the window for evaluation got a lot tighter, too.

Draft a quarterback?

With a bevy of young quarterbacks hitting the 2021 NFL Draft, might the Giants draft a quarterback and split from Jones before his third season? It’s the next likely and possible option for Big Blue.

If the Giants continue to win, then there’s a good chance that GM Dave Gettleman’s job will be safe entering the next season. If they sputter down the stretch and finish with just five or six wins, don’t be surprised if Gettleman is out.

If that scenario plays out and the Giants are staring at another sub-.500, no-playoff season under their belt, then a new GM will likely want his own quarterback, as is custom in today’s NFL (they usually want their own head coach, too, but Joe Judge should be an easy sell for the next guy). That leaves Jones in a precarious position.

Does Judge feel strongly enough that Jones is the answer at the position, or will a potential new GM have say?

With as many as six first-round QBs on the board, the Giants will be within striking range of at least one of them. While there are other holes to address, it might serve the franchise best to get some synergy between coach, GM and quarterback.

Much like the 2018 draft that featured five first-round quarterbacks — Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson — there will be passers to be had. 

Sign or trade for a quarterback?

This is probably the least sensible market for the Giants to scour this offseason. Spotrac’s current cap projection leaves the Giants with just under $20 million in cap space for this upcoming offseason, with a fair amount of holes to try and fill. It would probably be a misallocation of resources to sign some like, say, Mitchell Trubisky or Jameis Winston to fill the spot with Jones still under contract.

Would the Eagles look to trade Carson Wentz, even within the division? Doubtful. Would the Jets trade Darnold to the Giants? They’ve done business in the past, after all. 

All of it is to say: Walking into a supermarket is much more satisfying when you have options. Giants fans just need to hope that Dave Gettleman, or whoever is shopping for groceries, picks the right ingredients for success in 2021 and beyond.

Source: Read Full Article