The New York Giants locked down their franchise quarterback on Tuesday, signing Daniel Jones to a long-term contract right before the franchise tag deadline.
Some will view Daniel Jones’ new contract with upturned noses, other will view it as a triumphant win for the New York Giants.
In a deal that came right down to the wire, Jones agreed to a four-year, $160 million deal with the Giants, amounting to $40 million per season. That ties him with Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott as the seventh-highest salary in the NFL and may cause raging Giants fans to run out onto the streets screaming that Jones isn’t worth all that money.
They may be right. Right now, Jones may not be worth that much, but his extension allows the Giants more salary cap flexibility and the ability to pursue other options. Because of Jones’ deal, the Giants can franchise tag Saquon Barkley. Because of Jones’ deal, the Giants can spread out the quarterback’s cap hit and potentially sign and re-sign key roster pieces to stay competitive next season.
In truth, the most financially responsible thing to do would be to franchise-tag Jones, assess his 2023 performance, and then give him his bag.
Daniel Jones contract details: Giants pay QB slightly more than he’s worth
Desperate times call for desperate measures, no one can fault the Giants franchise that much for wanting to hold onto both Jones and Barkley in 2023.
It was further revealed that Jones would receive $82 million in guaranteed money and another $35 million in incentives. The amount of guaranteed money suggests the Giants may be able to get out of Jones’ contract after two years, which would make the overall deal look smarter from the franchise’s perspective.
So Daniel Jones is on the books for four years and $160 million with $82 million guaranteed at signing, per sources. There is another $35M available in incentives.
Saquon Barkley is currently at $10.1M on the franchise tag. #giants #nfl
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 7, 2023
Even at base value, paying Jones $40 million a season isn’t….that…. bad?
His peers, financially, are Stafford, Prescott, and Derek Carr. All three may currently be a step above Jones, but they’re not that far off. Assuming Jones grows into a reliable starter for New York in the next few years and with the quarterback market continuing to inflate, locking him down to a mostly reasonable contract now rather than later works in the Giants’ best interest.
The fourth-year quarterback was able to stay healthy for 2022 and posted career highs in completion percentage, passing yards, and rushing yards, among other categories. Danny dropped dimes in the Giants’ postseason rout of the Minnesota Vikings and proved himself to be a winning starter, if only for one year.
Jones has come a long way since his rookie days when he stumbled at the opportunity to replace Eli Manning as New York’s next franchise star. Manning’s shoes were too big. He just couldn’t do it.
Two years of painful development later, Jones can start the next chapter of his career with something new in hand: the Giants front office’s full confidence and faith. He has every reason to fail, but also every reason to succeed and make his $40 million per year contract age better than anybody could have expected.