Winning their second straight game Sunday, the Giants have moved themselves off the top rung for 2024 draft positioning. The Giants, Commanders and Bears sit as eight-loss teams exiting Week 12. Three other squads — the Panthers, Patriots and Cardinals — have at least nine losses, keeping them atop the 2024 draft board entering December.
The Giants’ unique long-term quarterback conundrum remains. The team is moving toward a high draft pick months after re-signing Daniel Jones at $40MM per year, and it has since seen him suffer an ACL tear. Jones did not fare well before his midseason injury, clouding his long-term outlook. And he missed more time due to a neck injury, recalling the issue that ended his 2021 season. But his contract effectively guarantees he will be a Giant in 2024.
On that note, the team does expect Jones to be its starting quarterback once again next season. GM Joe Schoen acknowledges the team must invest in a passer — in free agency or the draft — but it may not bring in a player who would unseat Jones from his post as the team’s big-picture QB1.
“The expectations is that when Daniel is healthy, he will be our starting quarterback,” Schoen said, via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan. “We’re still going to have to address the position at some point because there is no guarantee he’s going to be back for Week 1.
“That will be a position, obviously there are different avenues — free agency or the draft — but we’ll have to address it at some point.”
Jones underwent surgery last week and indicated during an appearance on Up & Adams (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) he has an eight- to 10-month recovery timetable ahead. Week 1 of the ’24 season would arrive in that window. The Cardinals slow-played Kyler Murray‘s recovery after his December 2022 ACL tear, with a new regime calling the shots. The Giants are not expected to move on from Schoen or Brian Daboll, making advanced proclamations more relevant in this case. With Jones out of the picture for the offseason program and Tyrod Taylor playing out a two-year, $11MM contract, the Giants will need to address the position.
The simplest route here would be to follow the 49ers’ recent blueprint and add a backup who could potentially start if Jones needs in-season time to recover. San Francisco signed Sam Darnold to a one-year, $4.5MM deal, but Brock Purdy was ready to return from UCL surgery during training camp. Although Purdy had less experience than Jones, Kyle Shanahan was sold on him as the team’s starter. Jones’ uninspiring 2023 play — albeit with an injury-ravaged offensive line and Saquon Barkley missing time due to his high ankle sprain — gave the skeptics of the Giants’ big-ticket re-signing an early lead here. The Giants guaranteeing two years of Jones’ deal gives him the 2024 season to potentially reestablish his value, but the team may also consider a first-round QB. That would obviously cloud Jones’ beyond-2024 status in New York.
Schoen added that he would not rule out a first-round QB pick. Mentioned as being prepared to draft a Jones replacement — if the opportunity presented itself — the Giants may not end up in position to select Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. Other QB prospects may well be connected to Big Blue, and it might come down to how the Giants view Jones a year into his second contract compared to a second-tier QB investment in the draft. A midround option would be a half-measure here, coming in as a true backup option.
Tommy DeVito‘s UDFA deal runs through 2025, and while the local product has helped the Giants win the past two games, Taylor is eligible to come off IR before the team’s Week 14 matchup. Taylor is expected to return from his rib injury this season, and Schoen did not guarantee DeVito would stay as the starter post-bye. But DeVito could conceivably be in the mix for a QB2 role in 2024. Though, he almost definitely does not profile as a player the Giants would consider as a starter option next season.
Jones remains in the lead for that position, even if his Big Apple future is a bit foggier than it was coming into the season. The Giants can get out of the Jones contract with only $11.1MM in dead money, via a post-June 1 cut designation, in 2025. How the team proceeds during the 2024 offseason will play a major role in that 2025 route being viable.