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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Dan Benton

Could Daniel Jones cost Giants $30-$40 million annually?

The New York Giants declined the fifth-year option for quarterback Daniel Jones because they wanted to see what he’d do in a new system. It was the correct call at the time.

Jones had struggled under a revolving door of head coaches and offensive coordinators, and he didn’t warrant the guaranteed salary. Or at least he didn’t at that moment.

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But Jones completely turned things around under first-year head coach Brian Daboll and had a breakout season. He gained nearly 4,000 total yards and helped carry the Giants to their first playoff victory since Super Bowl XLVI despite lacking personnel around him.

In the process, Jones earned himself a good chunk of money. Now the Giants are faced with a potentially expensive free-agent decision.

General manager Joe Schoen has made it very clear they intend to bring Jones back long-term, but at what cost? At least one agent believes the floor is around $30 million annually.

“He’d command at least $30 million annually,” the agent told Heavy.

“I think the Giants will wind up paying him. Because the question everyone forgets to ask themselves on these things is, what is plan B?”

There really is no plan B and no genuine options in the 2023 NFL draft unless Schoen is willing to pony up a ton of picks to trade up, which is not something he’s even going to entertain.

That means Jones is likely looking at a contract worth, as the agent notes, “at least” $30 million annually. But Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports believes it could be even more.

Their “business” issue is that quarterbacks are expensive. Considering the contract Ryan Tannehill signed in 2020 pays him an average of $29.5 million, and Derek Carr makes an average of $40.5 million on the deal he signed in April, the idea of Jones getting $40 million per season isn’t crazy. It might even be likely, considering there are multiple teams hoping a quarterback like him hits free agency and that the franchise tag is expected to be $32.5 million.

The Giants could use the franchise tag on Jones and save themselves some Year 1 money, but Vacchiano reports that Schoen & Co. would like to avoid the one-year bridge.

The Giants would rather sign him than use the tag on him, according to a source, but it depends on whether they can get him at something close to a reasonable price.

The market on Jones has clearly shifted by a large degree over the past six months and that’s a testament to him. After everything he had gone through over his first three seasons in the NFL, he deserves what’s coming to him in free agency.

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