When the new regime of the New York Giants declined the fifth-year option of quarterback Daniel Jones, the clock started ticking. Danny Dimes had a year to prove whether he was the QB of the future for head coach Brian Daboll and the Giants had a year to figure out if they were going to fork up the big bucks to keep him.
Today, he signed a four-year, $160 million contract to stay with Big Blue and Brian Daboll has cast his lot with a quarterback surrounded by question marks. It wouldn't be New York football if it didn't have soap opera-level drama.
After being selected sixth overall in the 2019 draft by the coward known as Dave Gettleman, Daniel Jones was unfairly expected to take the mantle from future hall-of-fame QB Eli Manning. Eli stumbled his way into two remarkable Super Bowl runs and captured the love of the Big Apple. He was set to act as a mentor to the rookie but after going 0-2 in the team's first two games, Jones was thrust into the flames.
Twelve interceptions and nineteen fumbles later, Dimes was considered a bust after just one year with the team. Mastering an offense run by Jason Garrett and captaining a team led by Joe Judge was no easy task but Jones trudged through his next few years exciting no one. His lone spot of fame came when he tripped over his own two feet on an 80-yard scamper.
Daniel Jones would not be the first quarterback selected in the top ten of the NFL draft to not cut it in the league. He certainly won't be the last (looking at you Will Levis). The Giants were certainly within their right to decline the fifth-year option on Daniel's rookie deal and look toward the future.
But then something magical happened
After taking an inaccurate gunslinger from Wyoming and turning him into an MVP candidate, Buffalo Bills' offensive coordinator Brian Daboll had his pick of the litter when it came to head coaching vacancies. He landed in New York, wearing blue, and all eyes turned toward the future. What young rookie QB could Daboll mold into the next Josh Allen?
The 2022 NFL draft was not strong with the QB force however and the Giants decided against selecting one with their two picks in the top seven selections. Instead, they decided, they'd let Daniel Jones run the gamut for one more season and figure out the most important position in football during the early months of 2023.
What followed was special. Despite throwing to wide receivers no one had ever heard of, Daniel Jones had his best year in the NFL under the new Daboll offense. Career highs in completion percentage, passing yards, QB rating, QBR, and yards per attempt; you name it, Danny Dimes improved upon it. The biggest gold star came from a career-low, and league-leading, interception percentage. Dimes had as many interceptions in sixteen starts (5) as Deshaun Watson had in six.
Not only was Jones performing well, but the team was also winning. Stealing a Wild Card spot for the 2023 playoffs and somehow DEFEATING a 13-4 Minnesota Vikings on the road. Considering all the cap restraints they had to deal with (thanks Dave), year one for the Brian Daboll-Daniel Jones union couldn't have gone any better.
After a short standoff between the two sides, Daniel Jones has extended his stay in New York. This contract clearly makes Danny Dimes the QB of the future with Brain Daboll's Giants and if the one-year wonder can improve upon his 2022 accomplishments, the Giants could be looking at postseason success for years to come.
However. If Jones takes a step back, or if 2022 is the high water mark for Daniel Jones as an NFL player, this contract could become the poison pill that soils the very ground that Daboll walks on.
Jones is now tied as the sixth-highest-paid NFL quarterback alongside Dak Prescott (Cowboys) and Matthew Stafford (Rams). The quarterback market will continue to get reset year after year as players like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert sign new deals, leaving this contract a bargain should success continue to come New York's way. Should it not...
Declining Daniel Jones' fifth-year option started a ticking clock. A very expensive clock and a clock that could have been avoided. Today, that clock rang. Mistakes were made but all will be forgotten based on future results. An average annual value of $40 million for a player we ranked as the 15th-best quarterback in the NFL? Those results better be good.