At one point, it almost sounded like it was a foregone conclusion that Daniel Jones will be back with the Giants. That’s not the case, of course, but it seems inevitable.
Joe Schoen, who just finished his first year as general manager, responded to a question: Do you think Daniel Jones is a quarterback who can help you win a Super Bowl? – with this:
“We’re glad Daniel will be here,” Schoen said on Monday, before quickly adding, “Hopefully we’ll get something done with his reps.” That would be the goal, to build the team around him where he could lead us to the Super Bowl victory.”
Building the Giants around Jones, the 25-year-old quarterback, is the plan for Schoen’s second off-season, his first with a nice amount of salary headroom — about $52 million — to use to improve the roster. He had not publicly commented on Jones, observing him in action on and off the field as the Giants went 9-7-1 during the regular season, adding a 31-24 playoff win over the Vikings to the list with achievements for that, as a coach. Brian Daboll said, “crash landing” in a 38-7 divisional playoff loss to the Eagles.
On Sunday, Jones said he wanted to return to the Giants for a fifth year. His rookie deal – the Giants made him the No. 6 seed in the 2019 NFL Draft – has expired.
“We’d like Daniel to be here,” Schoen said. ‘He said it [Sunday,] there is a business side to it. We feel that Daniel has played well this season, he has done everything we asked of him. There is a business side to it. We haven’t gone down that road yet.”
Shoe wasn’t so encouraging about Saquon Barkley, who will also become an unrestricted free agent. The team and Barkley’s representatives discussed a deal during the bye week, but failed to come to an agreement.
When asked about Barkley, Schoen initially said: “This was a special team, for me this was my first year, we would like to have all the boys back, we really do.”
Shoe then turned to Barkley.
“Saquon is a good player and he’s a great teammate,” said Schoen. “I’ve loved getting to know him this season. He’s a guy we’d like to have back. Again, we haven’t had our year-end meetings yet.”
Schoen also added: “We have to work with a salary cap. We would like to have Saquon back, if possible.”
Jones is on a three- or four-year contract for anywhere from $30 million to $35 million a year. In the unlikely scenario of the Giants using the franchise tag on him, it would cost about $32 million on the salary cap.
Putting the tag on Barkley will cost about $10.1 million on cap. Barkley said Sunday that he’s not trying to determine the running back market — that would be the $16 million a year for Christian McCaffrey — and that closing a multi-year deal with Barkley could be a tricky one.