The New York Giants have a few major decisions to make this off-season, one of which revolves around quarterback Daniel Jones and his future.
Jones is still unproven, heading into his fourth season with his third offensive coordinator and third head coach. During his rookie campaign under Pat Shurmer’s leadership, Jones recorded 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions to go at 3,027 yards. However, he fumbled the football 19 times, an alarming number that forced him into extensive off-season work.
Jones is far from a polished product, but upper management still believes he can be the face of the franchise, focusing on his solid arm and mobility. At times, Jones has tried to do too much, putting his body on the line to make plays while his support struggles around him.
Bolstering the offensive line remains a priority for new general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, which will hopefully be addressed in the 2022 NFL draft.
The Giants currently have -$7.6 million in salary space, putting them in a bind. They still have to make a decision on James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, Sterling Shepard, and more. By cutting Bradberry, Martinez, and Shepard, they could clear $25 million in salary space, but I would expect restructure‘s or trades rather than simple cuts.
As for Jones, the Giants have to make a decision on his 5th-year option by May 2, giving them time to consider the most efficient decision. If they decide to decline his 5th-year option, relying on the franchise tag to retain him in 2023, they would have to pay $29.7 million on a one-year deal.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 7, 2022
With the salary cap set at $208 million for 2022, Jones would make in the top 10% of players at his position. That would be a monstrous increase in salary, as he’s prepared to earn just $8.3 million this upcoming season.
Alternatively, they can accept his 5th-year option and pay him far less than the franchise tag. He would count $22.4 million for the 2023 season if his option is excepted.
Here are the fifth-year option numbers for the 2019 first-rounders. Decisions due on them on May 2. If picked up, they lock a team in on a full guarantee for 2023. pic.twitter.com/124QweH5Ta
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 7, 2022
Monetarily, it makes the most sense to pick up the option and reduce his future salary hit, but it would also be a complete commitment toward his future. If the Giants are still unsure he can be their franchise quarterback, they should decline the option and give themself a bit of leverage in the case he doesn’t pan out.