Daniel Jones Addresses Giants’ Offseason QB Pursuit

While the Giants hosted Russell Wilson and signed Drew Lock, they made a strong effort to acquire a long-term replacement for Daniel Jones in the draft. Countless connections to this year’s cast of arms emerged, leaving Jones in limbo for weeks going into the Detroit-based event.

Big Blue ties to J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr., along with the team’s Bo Nix visit, did not turn out to matter as much as the late flurry of reports tethering the club to Drake Maye. The steady late-April buzz on Maye turned out to be accurate, with both the Giants and Vikings offering future first-rounders with the purpose of drafting the two-year North Carolina starter.

The Giants offered Nos. 6 and 47, along with their 2025 first, to the Patriots with an eye on Maye. Holding the inside track thanks to a 4-13 2023 season, the Pats stuck at No. 3 and are developing Maye to be their hopeful long-term starter. The Pats’ interest in Maye became excellent news for Jones, who can breathe easier about his job security.

Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t fired up about it,” Jones said (via the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard) about the Giants’ QB pursuit. “… I don’t think you can take anything personally at this level. How exactly it happened and what happened, I’m not sure I know; I’m not sure you know. But at the end of the day I’m focused on playing good football.”

Rumblings about the Giants using their disappointing season (and higher-than-expected draft slot) to draft a Jones successor following his ACL tear had surfaced back in November. By the Combine, a full-fledged QB research project was in high gear. But Giants interest in McCarthy, a popular topic earlier in the offseason, did not outweigh their hope Jones could improve if given a top-flight wide receiver prospect. The Giants walked through the latter door, giving their incumbent QB Malik Nabers to target.

The Giants’ plans at equipping Jones with impact targets have fizzled. They drafted Jones a month after trading Odell Beckham Jr. By 2021, the team’s WR plans bottomed out. Kenny Golladay became a historic free agency bust, and first-rounder Kadarius Toney quickly fell out of favor. The Joe Schoen regime’s trade for Darren Waller is looking like it will not produce any results beyond Year 1, with the former Pro Bowl tight end still considering retirement. As the earliest Giants WR pick in the common draft era (1967-present), Nabers represents a quality addition and will be a key part of what could certainly be Jones’ last chance with the team.

Jones received a text from the team before the Nabers pick, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan. The sixth-year QB remains confident he will be ready for Week 1 — long held as a realistic goal by player and team — and Raanan adds he is no longer wearing a knee brace. Jones has participated in seven-on-seven drills at OTAs.

The four-year, $160MM extension Jones signed drew immediate scrutiny, and the Eli Manning successor did not play well — albeit behind an injury-plagued O-line — before his November ACL tear. Two neck injuries have forced Jones to miss time over the past three seasons, with the starter’s injury trouble likely leading Lock to New York. While Lock may not be a true threat to take Jones’ job by Week 1 — contrary to one post-draft report — the former second-rounder might be a candidate to make starts down the stretch, as injury guarantees could come into play for the Giants. No guaranteed money will remain on Jones’ deal beyond 2024 — unless he unable to pass a physical by the start of the 2025 league year. That scenario would put the Giants on the hook for an additional $12MM.

For now, however, Jones is nearing a return from ACL surgery and will be aiming to develop a rapport with Nabers. While Saquon Barkley‘s defection stands to sting, the Giants will hope Nabers can fill a longstanding WR need. Jones will hope to show the Giants will not go into 2025 with a quarterback need.

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