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

Report: Giants still view Daniel Jones as franchise QB, but one thing has shaken their faith

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen has repeatedly expressed his faith in quarterback Daniel Jones and insists he’ll be the starter in Week 1 provided he’s healthy.

Despite those words, a subsection of the Giants fan base insists it can’t be true and Schoen is merely being kind to Jones in public.

If you’re one of those fans, you may want to avert your eyes.

Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports reports that high-ranking members (plural) of the Giants organization still very much believe in Jones as their franchise quarterback despite his regression in 2023.

As bad as Jones was in the first five games of last season, there are a lot of people very high up in the Giants organization who still believe in his ability — which is what FOX Sports reported back in November. They were not shaken by five bad games, most of which were played without Saquon Barkley, without left tackle Andrew Thomas, and behind a truly disastrous offensive line.

The anti-Jones group can now return their attention to this article.

Although the Giants remain firm in their commitment to Jones, there is a but. And it’s a rather big but at that.

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Vacchiano adds that while Jones’ poor play last season hasn’t shaken anyone’s faith, his injury history has. More specifically, the Giants are concerned about Jones’ neck injuries and what they could mean for his future.

What has shaken their faith, one team source said, is his injury history. That seems to be more the history of neck injuries than his recovery from a torn ACL, which the Giants say has gone well. But the neck injuries — disc issues that neither the Giants nor Jones have ever fully explained — are worrisome. As Jones’ former trainer told FOX Sports in November, “The likelihood of reinjury, once it gets injured the first time, it’s definitely more susceptible moving forward.”

So yes, the Giants seem to believe in Jones’ ability to be their next Eli Manning as much as they did on March 7, 2023, when they gave him that blockbuster contract. But because he is an injury risk, they feel like they at least have to explore all their options — which is exactly what they are doing. Jones’ health does seem to be a big enough issue for the organization that it’s impossible to say they still believe he’s their long-term answer at quarterback.

The Giants met with veteran quarterback Russell Wilson ahead of free agency and later signed Drew Lock. However, neither was considered an option to replace Jones.

Vacchiano confirms that both Wilson and Lock were told that Jones would remain the team’s starter in 2023 and they would serve as his backup.

The 35-year-old Wilson was looking for a starting job, though, and the Giants were “absolutely not” willing to offer him one, a team source said. If Wilson was interested in being a backup, the Giants might have been interested since he cost the Steelers only $1.21 million (the Broncos are also paying him $39 million not to play for them). Although even then, they understood it could have been messy to have a high-profile backup who clearly wanted to play sitting behind Jones all year.

Lock signed on the dotted line while Wilson chased a chance to start with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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