Congratulations, Giants fans. Your favorite team is on its way to what many thought was the last thing possible, the playoffs. Their ticket was stamped by a powerful 4 total TD performance of Quarterback Daniel Jones over the Colts in week 17. While he has been a polarizing character (to say the least) in this dramatic roller coaster of a season, he has also been the one who didn’t crumble under the heavy weight of changing the negative narrative of himself.
We have seen several Quarterbacks fail to get out from under that weight in recent years (2021 Sam Darnold, 2021/2022 Jameis Winston, 2022 Baker Mayfield, 2022 Carson Wentz, and 2022 Marcus Mariota to name a few) and most of them had better offensive players around them, yet Jones is on his way to the dance while those guys will be scrambling for jobs in the offseason.
What is upsetting to me is how there are still detractors to a man who has never complained in the face of adversity and has continued to hone his craft instead of packing it in or taking his grievances to the media. Is he a flashy or a gaudy stat packing gunslinger, and will he ever be? Probably not (but doesn’t need to). This does not mean he hasn’t earned the right to extend his tryout with the new regime and us embracing the possibility he can pull off becoming the guy with some adequate help next season.
While it very well can happen with a simple triggering of the franchise tag, there is also the possibility we see Jones net a 3-year deal that can be constructed with an empty guaranteed money year after year 2. This would help hedge the new regime’s bet on Jones in the event it doesn’t pan out. Should Jones’ progress stall out, the Giants have the option to go hunting in a deeper 2024 QB class and have Jones already in place as a bridge. Now if Jones does continue his leap into the QB of the future, then you get 2 years of franchise QB play at average QB salary.
I am sure many are still skeptical about Jones’ chances of making the continued progress possible because he has been in the league for 4 years and most teams know what they have by then. Whether people want to admit it or not, most teams also would have given their young investment a respectable offense with competent coaching in those 4 years. Unfortunately, the NY Giants did not do this with Jones when they should have and created this conundrum for themselves.
Now that this team under the new regime has exceeded expectations, they need to keep up the winning habits they have established so early here, lest they feel the wrath of the fans and ownership. Anything less than having the best attainable QB possible on their roster going into the 2023-24 season will result in major backlash. It will be a hard sell for the front office to roll out Tyrod Taylor (tanking is bad) or any of the lower tier QB prospects in the 2023 QB class (though the top ones are possible, they’re HIGHLY unlikely). Trade candidates like Derek Carr are certainly no clear upgrade over Jones either.
Between the lack of realistic options and the increasing chance of Jones’ growing in the Daboll/Kafka Offense, the choice is obvious. Best of all, this can be set up in a way that covers both outcomes that can come from it. You don’t have to be in favor of Jones to realize that continuing with him at the helm is what is best for the team in the immediate future. People can toss up nonsensical narratives of it ruining the new regime’s stay with Big Blue all they want when it’s really only 1 season they are “risking” in making this investment into Daniel Jones’ extended tryout since they’d have a painless exit strategy to a new QB as soon as next offseason.
I believe Jones can do it, and I am happy to eat crow even if I’m wrong, because as of RIGHT NOW If not Daniel Jones… then who?