Brian Daboll

NFC East Rumors: Giants, Prescott, Lewis, Garcia

The reported rift between Giants head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has gotten weird. After recent reports of tension between the two coaches and rumors that both the team’s coordinators are in danger of losing their jobs, New York elected to deny, deny, deny. And then deflect, deflect, deflect.

The day of our initial report, a New York Post contribution by Mark Cannizzaro relayed multiple accounts from players and staff pushing back on the idea of a rift. Daboll himself expressed his “respect” for Martindale to the media last week telling them, “I’d say the biggest argument that Wink and I have had is who has the last piece of pizza.”

Daboll is known for running a bit of a closed-door operation intent on eliminating outside distractions, so taking his statements at face value is difficult to do. Especially when the following day, Pat Leonard of New York Daily News provided a description of a press conference in which general manager Joe Schoen and Daboll failed in their attempts to play it cool.

For the second straight day, Daboll made a joke about him and Martindale being avid eaters, saying, “I just met with Wink a little while ago. We had donuts.” This was followed by Schoen repeatedly deflecting questions about Martindale’s future with the team to Daboll, claiming that Daboll had already discussed these things with the media, which he hadn’t.

It seems like opinion for now, but those in the room seem to firmly believe in the supposed rift between Daboll and Martindale. The Giants’ attempts to get the media looking in the opposite direction don’t seem to be effective.

Here are a few other rumors from the NFC East:

  • Our own Adam La Rose recently provided a strong breakdown of the potential extension situation for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. In it, La Rose relayed the team’s plan to wait until the offseason to solidify a new deal for their two-time Pro Bowler. Well, today, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided a bit more detail on the situation, cluing us in to a potential deadline for an extended contract. Rapoport speculates that, since Prescott is due a $5MM roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year, if an extension is going to happen, it’s going to be before then. The 2024 League Year is set to start on March 13, giving the team until March 17 to get a deal done.
  • A few weeks into the season last year, we saw Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis undergo season-ending surgery for a Lisfranc injury. At the time, we questioned what the injury meant for Lewis’s future as he was set to enter a contract year and an injury plus the breakout of then fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland could threaten his job security. Apparently, we should have been worried about his future for a different reason as Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News told us recently that Lewis’s injury had the potential to threaten his football career. The team’s director of rehabilitation, Britt Brown, told Gehlken that “a lot of guys…wouldn’t have come back from that.” Brown continued, “When that initially happened, his career was immediately in jeopardy.” Lewis, though, fought to return and has played in every game past Week 1 for the Cowboys this year, displaying impressive resiliency in the face of dour odds.
  • The Commanders had to turn to some new leaders on the defensive side of the ball this week after firing Jack Del Rio a little over a week ago. Cristian Garcia, who was recently tabbed as the team’s interim defensive backs coach, is reportedly whom head coach Ron Rivera will rely on, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 29-year-old assistant coach was asked this week to “handle a larger role in game planning and on gameday.” While it’s surely an exciting challenge for Garcia, facing the Dolphins in his first week with increased responsibilities was certainly a daunting task.

Joe Schoen: Giants Owners “On Board” With Long-Term Rebuild

The 2023 season has been a signficant step back for the Giants compared to their first year under general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. It would come as a surprise if either were to be let go at the end of the year, however, a sentiment which was recently confirmed by the former’s public remarks.

Schoen’s press conference earlier this week stated owners John Mara and Steve Tisch were aware of the long-term requirements of a sustainable rebuild given the roster and cap situation he inherited from the Dave Gettleman era. As Schoen said in no uncertain terms, and as Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports reports, a change at neither the GM or HC spots is anticipated to take place.

“Yeah, absolutely. They’re on board with it,” Schoen said, via Vacchiano, of New York’s owners regarding a multi-year rebuild. “As much as it hurts to go through this, there are a lot of young players that are getting valuable experience. Another offseason, another draft, we will continue to build it… The fact that John Mara is here on a daily basis, we can explain the ‘why’ — why we’re doing things, how we’re going to do them. They’re in the loop and they’re on board.”

The Giants have been known to move on quickly from coaches, with Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge each being let go late in their second seasons with the team. Daboll is now in that territory, and the 2022 Coach of the Year has been the subject of widespread criticism as the Giants have gone 4-8 this campaign. Struggles on offense both before and after quarterback Daniel Jones‘ ACL tear, as well as reported tension with defensive coordinator Don Martindale have led to questions about Daboll’s job security. He appears to be in the clear for now, however.

“It takes time, takes a couple of offseasons, it takes a few drafts to build it the right way,” Schoen added. “Trust me, it hurts when you lose and you’re 4-8… But you don’t want to lose sight of the big picture and the proper way to build a roster.”

The Giants are currently slated to have the No. 6 pick in the 2024 draft, a selection which could allow them to add a Jones successor. Having just inked the 26-year-old to a $160MM extension last year, though, New York could elect to go in a number of different directions during the draft. Regardless of how the Giants proceed, the team’s top decision-makers will be operating with assurances about their job security for the time being.

Tension Mounting Between Giants HC Brian Daboll, DC Don Martindale?

The 2023 season has proven to be a disaster for the Giants, with the team’s on-field performance falling well short of expectations in the wake of last year’s run to the divisional round of the playoffs. As a result, frustrations appear to growing in the coaching ranks.

Tension between head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale is palpable, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports notes (video link). A disconnect between the two staffers was first mentioned by Dan Duggan of The Athletic earlier this month, noting a heated exchange which took place either side of halftime during the team’s blowout loss to the Cowboys in Week 10 (subscription required). While New York followed up that loss with an upset over the Commanders, things have not gone according to plan for the organization this year.

A sticking point in this situation seems to have been the public criticism levied at the coaching staff by safety Xavier McKinney earlier in the season. Martindale publicly responded to the comments, noting it was unprecedented to receive complaints related to communication with players in his lengthy coaching career. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan confirms the McKinney incident represents a potential flashpoint in the Daboll-Martindale relationship, which at this point in a trying season is “festering.”

The pair had no previous working relationship when they joined the Giants’ staff last year. Daboll came to New York with considerable acclaim from his time as the Bills’ offensive coordinator, while Martindale boasted a general track record of success during a four-year run coordinating the Ravens’ defense. Their first season together resulted in an unexpected postseason appearance and a road victory in the wild-card round, but the team has struggled across the board this year. The Giants rank no better than 27th in DVOA for offense, defense and special teams.

As a result, Martindale’s name (along with that of second-year offensive coordinator Mike Kafka) has come up with respect to coaches who could be fired in the offseason. Strife with Daboll could obviously affect the chances of that taking place, but a strong finish to the campaign would also bolster Martindale’s case for remaining in place for at least one more year. Duggan notes that “the writing is on the wall” for special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, so at least some changes on the sidelines should be expected relatively soon.

As Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News adds, the Glazer report is only “scratching the surface” of the current state of affairs between Daboll and Martindale. A winning run to close out the campaign would no doubt smooth things over to a degree, but the Giants’ staffing plans will remain a key storyline to watch over the coming weeks and months.

Giants Not Ready To Give Up On QB Daniel Jones

The Giants 2023 NFL season has seemingly gone off the rails. After snapping their four-game losing streak from earlier in the year, New York has started a new losing streak, dropping their last three contests. Their 2-8 record currently qualifies them for the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With USC quarterback Caleb Williams and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye likely to be locked in as the first two college passers taken in the draft, are the Giants going to pass up a top college arm in the top 2?

According to Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports, “it’s far from guaranteed that the Giants would actually” draft Williams or Maye to replace starting quarterback Daniel Jones. There are several factors that play into the team’s loyalty to the veteran passer, but essentially, they haven’t given up on hopes that he will be the long-term answer for New York at quarterback.

The first clear sign of this is the fact that, only four months ago, the Giants signed Jones to a four-year, $160MM contract extension. The team expressed their support for the 26-year-old at that point, and though things haven’t panned out thus far, they’re not ready to give up on him yet.

Jones earned that extension after showing tremendous improvement under the tutelage of new head coach Brian Daboll and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka last year. The new coaching took some of Jones’ biggest weaknesses, namely turnovers, and turned them into a strength. After throwing 29 interceptions and fumbling the football 36 times in his first three seasons, Jones led the league in lowest percentage of pass attempts resulting in an interception after throwing just five picks and fumbled the ball a career-low six times in 2022. Beyond that, Jones teamed up with his backfield mate, running back Saquon Barkley, to lead the Giants to their first postseason berth since 2016.

This year, the results have been drastically different, but realistically, the coaches and front office aren’t viewing the numbers in a vacuum. Sure, the team has the league’s second-worst record and only won one game in which Jones started, and yes, Jones’ touchdown-interception ratio of 2-6 and four fumbles in six games seems to show a regression of his strongest traits from last year, but these statistics aren’t solely the result of Jones’ play. First, of his six starts, three of them were without Barkley by his side and four of them were without starting left tackle Andrew Thomas protecting him. Second, a porous offensive line has led to the veteran passer taking a battering.

“It’s almost an unfair evaluation,” an NFC scout told Vacchiano. “He was getting battered. He had no time to run an offense before the rush was in his face. He didn’t look good, I’m not excusing him, but he didn’t have much of a chance. And I think (the Giants) know that.”

The disastrous offensive line resulted in Jones taking a beating. Whether related to the constant pressure or not, Jones ended up suffering a neck injury that would hold him out for three games. His short-lived return to play ended with him tearing his ACL, taking him out for the remainder of the season. Injuries, both to himself and to his teammates, paired with poor offensive play around him led to a decline in Jones’ performance this year. The Giants understand that and will likely continue giving him a chance to show he’s a franchise quarterback.

That decision also proves to be a bit self-serving for Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. Despite the duo leading the team to the playoffs in their first year at the helm, Vacchiano states that in today’s cutthroat NFL, a serious step backward might not be something to two staffers could afford. Making the move to draft and rely on a rookie quarterback very often can result in a step backward, and after the disappointment of this season, another year of regression has the potential to spell doom for Daboll and Schoen. That being said, Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report made it clear that, “barring something drastic,” both will return with Jones in 2024.

Still, the two aren’t ruling anything out. While proclaiming their faith in Jones, the Giants are still actively doing their homework on Williams and Maye. Schoen has reportedly already seen both college passers in person, and the personnel department will likely continue keeping a close eye on the two. Especially with the current unknown of Jones’ recovery time, quarterback may become a big offseason need for New York if Jones isn’t expected back in time for camp.

It’s an ugly situation and a difficult decision for the Giants to make. And, as of now, it’s not one they’ve decided on yet. They have reason and need to rely on Jones going forward, but it may become necessary at some point to bolster the position, just in case. They’re not ready to give up on Jones yet, but they need to be prepared to face that possibility should it arise.

Giants Unlikely To Make HC, GM Changes; Joe Schoen Scouting Top QB Prospects

Week 10 added to the list of lopsided defeats the Giants have suffered in 2023, and the team’s prospects for the rest of the campaign appear bleak. As attention increasingly turns to April’s draft, questions have been raised about the job security of head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen.

Both members of the team’s second-year regime are “widely considered to be safe” by those both inside and outside the organization, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reports. Unexpected success last season – which culminated in a run to the divisional round of the playoffs – came with the understanding that a multi-year effort to clean up the team’s cap situation would be required, but the commitment made to quarterback Daniel Jones in the offseason has not gone according to plan.

Jones is out for the year with an ACL tear, though his 2023 performances when healthy fell well short of expectations as part of a highly underwhelming Giants offense. Attached to four-year, $160MM deal, the former top-10 pick is on the books at a rate of $36MM in guaranteed salary in 2024. In spite of that, a report from last week indicated the Giants were willing to add an eventual Jones successor during the upcoming draft if they found themselves in position to land one of the highly-touted passers in this year’s class.

Schoen is known to be among several NFL executives who watched the recent USC-Washington game in person, a showcase of Caleb Williams and Michael PenixHe has been on the QB circuit to see other prospects as well, however; NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes that Schoen has regularly watched games featuring high-end signal-callers during the fall when doing so lines up with the Giants’ travel schedule. New York – a team down to undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito at quarterback with Tyrod Taylor currently on IR – could very well end up with an intriguing decision to make come the spring with respect to a potential Jones replacement.

The Giants are currently slated to pick second overall, a slot which would likely line them up to draft UNC’s Drake Maye. Doing so would create the need to move on from Jones after the 2024 season, however, and in the process admit a mistake in making a lucrative investment in the latter. Plenty remains to be determined with respect to where the Giants wind up selecting in April, but it appears Daboll and Schoen will be allowed to make such a call when the time comes.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

After the 2022 offseason produced 10 new head coaches, this one brought a step back in terms of turnover. Five teams changed HCs, though each conducted thorough searches — four of them lasting until at least January 31.

The Colts and Cardinals hired their HCs after Super Bowl LVII, plucking the Eagles’ offensive and defensive coordinators (Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon). The Cardinals were hit with a tampering penalty regarding their Gannon search. Conducting their second HC search in two years, the Broncos saw multiple candidates drop out of the running. But Denver’s new ownership group convinced Sean Payton to step out of the FOX studio and back onto the sidelines after just one season away. The Panthers made this year’s first hire (Frank Reich), while the Texans — running their third HC search in three years — finalized an agreement with DeMeco Ryans minutes after the Payton news broke.

Only one of last year’s top 10 longest-tenured HCs lost his job. A turbulent Colts year led to Reich being fired barely a year after he signed an extension. During a rather eventful stretch, Jim Irsay said he reluctantly extended Reich in 2021. The Colts passed on giving interim HC Jeff Saturday the full-time position, despite Irsay previously indicating he hoped the former center would transition to that role. Reich landed on his feet, and after losing Andrew Luck to a shocking retirement just before his second Colts season, the well-regarded play-caller now has another No. 1 pick (Bryce Young) to mentor.

After considering a Rams exit, Sean McVay recommitted to the team and is overseeing a reshaped roster. Andy Reid also sidestepped retirement rumors, staying on with the Chiefs after his second Super Bowl win. This will be Reid’s 25th season as an NFL head coach.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2023 season:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  11. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  12. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders): January 1, 2020
  13. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  14. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  15. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  16. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  17. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  18. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  19. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  20. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  21. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  22. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  23. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  24. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  25. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  26. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  27. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  28. Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers): January 26, 2023
  29. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  30. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  31. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  32. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023

Giants Looking Into Potential DeAndre Hopkins Acquisition

The list of expected suitors for DeAndre Hopkins is fairly well-known at this point, but other teams will no doubt at least kick the tires on the idea of signing the All-Pro wideout. The Giants are a member of that group.

Hopkins has officially been released by the Cardinals, leaving him free to sign anywhere on the open market. A number of Super Bowl contenders (particularly in the AFC) have been connected to him throughout the offseason, given his own remarks and the value he would add to any team’s passing attacks. The Chiefs and Bills are currently considered the favorites to sign him, though a Browns deal reuniting him with Deshaun Watson could also be in play.

The Giants will look into Hopkins as a possible addition, head coach Brian Daboll said on Wednesday. GM Joe Schoen was involved in the team’s work on Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason and through his year-long free agency period. The latter ended up signing with the Ravens, while the Giants turned their attention elsewhere with respect to their pass-catching corps.

“Like last year, anytime there’s someone that’s available that’s a free agent, I’d say Joe and his staff are gonna look into it, research it,” Daboll said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News“We talk about a lot of different players. So regardless of who it is, that’s part of our job is to make sure we’re doing our due diligence.”

New York’s most impactful addition so far in 2023 has been tight end Darren Waller, who could be in line to operate as a de-facto No. 1 receiver if healthy. At the WR spot, they signed former Colt Parris Campbell while retaining Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins and Sterling Shepard. Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler, has a considerably longer track record than the rest of the team’s receiver room. Leonard also notes that the Giants are one of a ‘handful” of teams which were expected to be involved in a pursuit of the 30-year-old.

However, New York has just $3.8MM in cap space at the moment, a figure which puts them in a similar financial situation to Kansas City and Buffalo. The Giants also have plenty of work to do on the Saquon Barkley extension front, something which is likely a higher priority for the team in the long term. As a result, it would be a stretch to consider them Hopkins frontrunners as of now.

Latest On Giants, Saquon Barkley

MARCH 30: After making that $12.5MM-per-year offer during the season, the Giants upped it to $13MM ahead of the franchise tag deadline, Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes (subscription required). With the Cowboys cutting Ezekiel Elliott, a $13MM-AAV deal would rank third among running backs — between the Christian McCaffreyAlvin Kamara tier and the glut of deals in the $12MM-per-year neighborhood. Schoen and Mara would like to finalize a deal, but the sides may need to work their way back to this price point, as nothing is imminent.

MARCH 28: The Giants were able to beat the franchise tag deadline with minutes to spare and sign quarterback Daniel Jones to a long-term deal. Doing so allowed them to place the franchise tag on running back Saquon Barkley, which guarantees he will remain in New York for 2023, but leaves his future beyond that point in doubt.

Barkley, 26, is set to earn $10.1MM this season if he plays on the tag. He and the Giants have until mid-July to reach an agreement on a multi-year extension, but the market hasn’t lent itself to big-money accords for running backs so far. In light of that, it remains to be seen if progress will be made in the coming weeks to re-engage in contract talks.

“There’s no outstanding offer right now,” Giants GM Joe Schoen said at the league meetings, via ESPN’s Dan Graziano. “Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew throughout the negotiation that there was going to be a time where, if we couldn’t come to an agreement, we were going to go to the franchise tag, and that’s what we did.”

New York initially saw the former No. 2 pick as the higher priority for a new deal, but later turned their attention to working out an extension with Jones. The Giants have reportedly been willing to reach the $12.5MM-per-year mark with Barkley, but in-season negotiations didn’t yield much in the way of traction for an extension; it came out earlier this month that an increased offer was unlikely. Even though they appeared prepared to let the Penn State alum hit the open market this year, it remains the team’s goal to keep Barkley in the fold for years to come.

“I told Saquon we want him to be a Giant for his entire career,” owner John Mara said. “The running back market is what it is right now, but I’m still hopeful at some point we will come to an agreement… I told him how much I wanted him to be a Giant and to play his whole career as a Giant… And I think he would like that as well.”

Mara also acknowledged, to no surprise, that Barkley is unhappy with having been tagged. His compensation, if he plays on the tag in 2023, will put him in a tie for eighth (with fellow tag recipients Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard) amongst RBs in terms of annual value. Earlier in the negotiation process, Barkley was said to not be eyeing a market-resetting deal even after he delivered a career-high 1,312 rushing yards as the focal point of the Giants’ offense in 2022. A new accord moving him into the top-five at the position would not be a surprising target, however.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll noted that he has not been in communication with Barkley for two weeks, and that he remains uncertain if the latter will report to voluntary OTAs next month (Twitter link via Dan Duggan of The Athletic). Barkley’s actions in the near future will increasingly become a storyline worth following if the offseason drags on without progress being made on an extension.

Giants Looking For Wide Receiver Help?

Although the Giants’ setup was not exactly conducive to impressive receiving statistics last season, Kenny Golladay has not rebounded from his disappointing 2021 slate. The Giants have reduced the high-priced veteran’s playing time significantly.

The former two-time 1,000-yard receiver played just two snaps in the Giants’ Week 2 win over the Panthers, seeing his usage plummet drastically from a 46-snap opener in Tennessee. With the Giants’ new regime not being the staff that authorized Golladay’s four-year, $72MM contract, the ex-Lions standout faces an uncertain Big Apple future.

Golladay, 28, joins Darius Slayton in failing to impress Brian Daboll‘s coaching staff. Long a trade candidate, Slayton has played four offensive snaps this season. The Giants’ 2019 and 2020 receiving leader took a pay cut, one that essentially negated his proven performance escalator contract-year bump, to stay on the team. But a Giants team seemingly flush with receiving talent has not seen too much from that contingent, beyond Sterling Shepard bouncing back early from his 2021 Achilles tear.

The team appears interested in shaking up the situation. Daboll has FaceTimed with free agent wideouts, according to’s Aaron Wilson. Help is limited at this point on the NFL calendar, and the Giants do have a highly touted player acquired by their current regime — second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson — preparing to make his debut. Robinson has missed the team’s first two games due to injury. Daboll passed on a Cole Beasley reunion; the ex-Bills slot joined the Buccaneers on Tuesday. Will Fuller and Odell Beckham Jr., an unrealistic Big Apple return candidate, headline the available receivers. As it stands, Big Blue’s wideout situation has produced some interesting on-field configurations early in Daboll’s run.

Daboll informed Golladay last week the team was effectively benching him for David Sills, a 2019 Bills UDFA who landed with the Giants later that year. Despite Daboll’s former team not having room for the Delaware product three years ago, this reunion has led to the most work of the young player’s career. Sills played 67 offensive snaps against the Panthers, catching three passes for 37 yards. Sills primarily worked alongside Shepard and Richie James, who led the Giants in receiving with five catches for 51 yards last week.

I told him during the week that we were going to go with Sills,” Daboll said of Golladay’s demotion. “He acted like a pro. I said, ‘Be ready to go.’ Does that mean it’s going to be next week? No. It takes a lot of mental toughness, too. That’s not an easy thing to hear. I appreciate them being professional.”

A 2019 Pro Bowler, Golladay is known more for his contested-catch abilities than separation skills. The 6-foot-4 target drew interest from the Bears, Ravens, Dolphins and Bengals during the 2021 free agency period — one overshadowed by the COVID-19-induced salary cap drop — and signed with the Giants on a deal that included $28MM fully guaranteed and doubled as the top contract given to a UFA wideout last year. In an offense that saw both an OC change (from Jason Garrett to Freddie Kitchens) and Daniel Jones‘ injury give way to overmatched backups Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm, Golladay caught 37 passes for 521 yards and no touchdowns.

He did not put together a good offseason this year — one that featured an unspecified surgery — and is an obvious 2023 release candidate. For now, Golladay’s contract makes such a move prohibitive. The Giants can get out of the deal with a $7.9MM 2023 dead-money hit, should they designate Golladay as a post-June 1 cut. Golladay’s $21.2MM cap hit is not only tops among Giants; it ranks as the league’s eighth-highest 2022 cap number.

Golladay’s swift decline comes as the Giants are barely using 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney. The oft-injured wideout played seven snaps in the team’s opener and caught two passes for zero yards in Week 2. The Giants hoped to involve Toney more in Week 2, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, but a hamstring tweak changed those plans. Toney still played more against the Panthers (28 snaps), however. Trade rumors encircled Toney this spring, and though those quieted quickly, the Dave Gettleman-era draftee’s status rounds out one of the league’s more interesting position groups through two weeks.

Latest On Giants, QB Daniel Jones

Off to a 1-0 start after upsetting the Titans, the Giants have begun Brian Daboll‘s tenure better than Pat Shurmur‘s or Joe Judge‘s started. Daniel Jones finished 17-for-21, with much of his yardage (188) coming on a 65-yard TD toss to Sterling Shepard. But the fourth-year quarterback likely still has plenty of work to do to earn the trust of the Giants’ new decision-makers.

Upon taking over in New York, Daboll and GM Joe Schoen harbored “major concerns” about Jones’ viability as a long-term option, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes.

Although the new Giants brass being “far from sold” on Jones is not too surprising, given the team’s decision to pass on its starting quarterback’s $22.4MM fifth-year option in May. Jones, who is now with his fourth NFL play-caller (though, he made it only one game with interim play-caller Freddie Kitchens last season), is on track for free agency in 2023. The oft-criticized passer could revitalize his career with a strong season under Daboll, but the fifth-year option era’s short history works against Jones being a long-term Giant.

In the option era (since 2014, when 2011 draftees’ options could be exercised or declined), no team has declined a QB’s fifth-year option and then circled back via an extension or re-signing. Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel, Teddy Bridgewater and Mitch Trubisky saw their options declined. None of this passer lot played beyond four seasons with his original NFL team. The 49ers passed on Gabbert’s option after acquiring him via trade in 2014; Brandon Weeden, Paxton Lynch and Josh Rosen were off their first-round contracts before their option decisions arrived. Bridgewater was on his way to earning a Vikings extension, but his severe 2016 knee injury intervened. Jones did suffer a neck injury that required offseason surgery, but after back-to-back down years, the Duke product has never been tracking toward a Giants extension.

The Giants should be expected to give Jones a long look, despite this regime not drafting him. Ownership backed Jones as its starter in March, and John Mara said earlier this offseason the Giants had “done everything possible to screw up” Jones’ development. But Daboll is high on backup Tyrod Taylor, per La Canfora, who adds that some around the league believe the first-year HC would not hesitate to bench Jones for Taylor if it helps this year’s team. It is too early for such talk, and a Jones benching would effectively signal the Giants are back in the quarterback market for 2023. They would join several other teams, including some that have two first-round picks, in that mix.