Daniel Jones

Giants Could Wait For QB In Draft

APRIL 22: Adding to the idea New York could pass on a first-round signal-caller, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes the Giants could be prepared to move down if J.J. McCarthy were the top passer still on the board at No. 6. That could result in a trade-down maneuver and leave the team in range for one of the second-tier QBs. Dunleavy adds that a factor which could alter that approach is the possibility of acquiring Maye, which falls in line with the Meirov report.

APRIL 21: Ever since Daniel Jones tore his ACL last season, putting to rest any chances of rebounding from an abysmal start to lead his team to the playoffs for the second year in a row, there has been constant chatter in New York about committing a first-round draft pick to the quarterback position. According to Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team, the Giants may not be all-in on using their current top pick, No. 6 overall, to draft a passer.

The Giants rewarded Jones’ playoff season, in which he led the league in fewest interceptions per pass attempt, with a four-year, $160MM contract. His first year under the new deal obviously did not go according to plan, but New York has claimed on multiple occasions that it does not regret committing to Jones and isn’t quite ready to give up on him. Still, they let it be known that they had plans to add a quarterback in the future; Jones’ injury history necessitated it.

Now, they actually have to address how that will work. Most projections for how the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft will play out see a run of four quarterbacks opening the night. While that’s not guaranteed, if it occurs, the Giants would likely not see any of the quarterbacks they want fall back to them. That hasn’t stopped many mock drafts from predicting a quarterback to New York via a trade up into the Cardinals’ No. 4 overall slot.

Meirov tells us that league rumors state that North Carolina passer Drake Maye is the only one of the passers not named “Caleb Williams” that the Giants would consider going after if he started to slip. It’s expecting quite a bit to think that Maye could find his way down to the sixth pick, but this could be insinuating that New York would trade up to the fourth pick if the Commanders and Patriots both pass on Maye.

If not, though, Meirov believes that they could address another position, like offensive tackle or wide receiver, at No. 6 overall then wait until the second round to select a quarterback. It depends how things play out, but both Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix were thought of as Day 2 picks at some point. The run of passers at the top of the draft may mean that Penix and Nix hear their names a little earlier than their value (for instance, the Raiders have constantly been connected to Penix at No. 13 overall), but should either quarterback slip back into the second round, consider them top targets for the Giants.

If they particularly like Penix or Nix and see them starting to slip in the first round, they may decide to trade back into the first round, or they could leverage their No. 6 overall pick to trade back and collect more picks without addressing the offensive line or receiving corps then pick one of the two passers. If they miss out on both Penix and Nix they may have to reach (or trade back a little in the second round) for South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler, widely thought to have a third-round value or later.

Regardless, the Giants have lots of options. They remain committed to Jones but still feel the need to add a rookie to the room. Just how they decide to go about adding that rookie could say a lot about how they feel about Jones heading into 2024.

Giants Receiving Calls On No. 6 Pick; Team Denies Buyer’s Remorse On Daniel Jones

This could be a defining draft for the Giants; if nothing else, it could determine the course of the Joe SchoenBrian Daboll partnership. The team has done extensive work on quarterbacks. This included “30” visits with Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy and Jayden Daniels.

Rumors have emerged connecting the Giants to both Maye and McCarthy. These come as the Giants’ party line continues to center around Daniel Jones being on track to be back by training camp and reclaim his starting job. A move up the board for a quarterback would be complicated, as the Vikings — and perhaps to a lesser extent the Broncos and Raiders — have been tied to trying to do the same. A climb up from No. 6 overall also would spell the end of Jones’ run as the team’s starter, as the Giants could get off Jones’ four-year, $160MM deal fairly easily (via a post-June 1 cut) in 2025.

[RELATED: John Mara OKs First-Round QB]

Internal concerns about Jones exist, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan, with the QB’s health history being the team’s main issue. But Schoen said reports of the team having buyer’s remorse on the 2023 contract are “not true.” Then again, it is not like a GM would reveal otherwise a week before a pivotal draft. But Jones’ status as New York’s unquestioned starter is up in the air as the draft approaches.

An expectation around the NFL points to four quarterbacks going in the top four, Raanan adds; that would mark an NFL first. With the Bears tied to Caleb Williams and the Commanders increasingly linked to Daniels at 2, the Giants may need to move up for Maye or McCarthy.

Recent reports indicated Maye is the player more likely of interest to Big Blue, but until the Commanders make it official with Daniels, no trade may be happening. The Patriots have begun discussions about moving down from No. 3, and the Cardinals are open to sliding down from 4. Although rumors about the Giants going QB in Round 1 have circulated for months, nothing is imminent yet.

I don’t think anyone is ready to move right now,” Schoen said. “I know people are listening. We’ll all do that, from teams behind us or moving up. Those exploratory talks and conversations will happen here shortly. … Those conversations will happen, over the next 42 or 78 hours those will start happening. You’ll get a feel for who is open to moving and who is no.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants’ No. 6 choice has generated a few calls. The Giants not trading up for a quarterback would put them in ideal position to address their longstanding wide receiver need, and the team has hosted the top three in this draft (Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze). But Schoen said teams have called to discuss the Giants moving down from 6. With Schoen adding (via the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard) he does not view the Giants as simply one or two players away, the team could consider moving down.

Surprisingly at 6, we’ve gotten a lot of calls from people behind us,” the third-year GM said. “I didn’t think I would have as much as activity from 6 from people behind me as we’ve gotten. So those are options too as we look at: If we go back, how far back do we want to go?

The Giants, who have not seen a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018, taking a receiver at 6 could put Jones in the clear. While the 2019 No. 6 overall pick being unchallenged for a job in his sixth year would be a bit odd when considering his resume, the Giants also hosted Bo Nix and Spencer Rattler on pre-draft visits.

That marks five QB meetings out of 30 allotted visits, and a Nix move could potentially come in Round 2. Though, it might take the Giants trading up from No. 47 to acquire the Oregon QB. Rattler is not viewed as a candidate to go in the first round; the Senior Bowl MVP should be expected to be available when the Giants go on the clock in Round 2.

Even one of these passers being chosen would mean a competition — at some point — involving Jones, who will see a $12MM injury guarantee shift to a full guarantee in March 2025. Jones said this week (via Raanan) he has not experienced any setbacks during his ACL recovery and called his 2023 neck injury “just a stinger.” Concerns about Jones’ neck would be valid, as the five-year Giants starter missed much of the 2021 season — ahead of a 2022 surgery — due to a neck injury.

Jones’ future in New York probably hinges on the Giants’ draft moves, but as of now, he is the clear-cut starter ahead of Drew Lock and Tommy DeVito. Jones is doing quarterback drills now, per the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy, and has resumed throwing. Whether he returns to full work as the team’s unquestioned starter once again or is suddenly a lame duck after the Giants select a QB will be one of this year’s defining draft storylines.

NFL Draft Rumors: Bowers, Giants, McKinstry

Two Georgia Bulldogs expected to be first-round picks later this month were unable to perform in their school’s pro day last month. Tight end Brock Bowers and offensive tackle Amarius Mims both hosted a private workout that saw a few teams in attendance, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Neither player really performed usual pro day activities, forgoing the 40-yard dash or any jumping or agility testing. Mims didn’t even weigh in. In reality, the day saw the two go through a few position drills with Bowers running routes and Mims attempting some line drills.

Both players had tightrope surgeries during the college season to repair high-ankle sprains. They should be able to heal in time for their rookie seasons, but the recovery has kept them from participating in pre-draft activities. It doesn’t appear that the work outs did much to affect either player’s draft stock.

Tight ends coaches for the Giants, Jets, and Broncos were reportedly on hand to watch Bowers, according to Breer and Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com. ESPN’s Matt Miller tells us that the Colts are reportedly very interested in Bowers, as well. One of his sources claims that Indianapolis would “run the card in” if Bowers is still available by the 15th pick of the draft.

Here are a few other rumors surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft:

  • One of the teams on hand to view Bowers, the Giants could be viewing the tight end as a backup plan. Many have pegged New York as a team that could potentially attempt to move up from their No. 6 overall pick to draft a quarterback in the top four picks. As we move closer to the decisive day, though, it’s looking less and less likely. According to Miller at ESPN, the Giants are expected to stay at sixth overall (a perfect place to find Bowers) and attempt to draft a passer with their No. 47 overall pick in the second round. At that point of the draft, they expect that options like Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix may still be available. The team still claims to be committed to starting quarterback Daniel Jones, but the veteran’s inability to stay on the field has led New York to explore options to replace him, according to Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports.
  • Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, born Ga’Quincy, has had a busy spring full of pre-draft visits. Since earlier reported visits with the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Lions, and Packers, we’ve seen reported visits with four more teams. Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tells us that McKinstry visited the Titans on Tuesday, and Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report informs us of visits with the Eagles, Giants, and Falcons, as well. McKinstry and his teammate, Terrion Arnold, have been extremely popular with the several teams who view cornerback as a position of need in 2024. McKinstry’s recovery from surgery on a foot fracture continues to heal nicely as he stays on track to return in time for his rookie season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Giants Owner John Mara OKs First-Round QB

The Giants’ quarterback situation in 2024 is, as usual, an interesting one. For the sixth year in a row, it seems like New York will enter the season with a plan to start Daniel Jones at quarterback while also hedging their bets a bit. To wit, team owner John Mara reportedly gave his coaching staff and personnel department the green light to draft a quarterback with their No. 6 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

With a top-ten selection in a strong quarterback class, the opportunity is certainly there to add one of the draft’s top quarterbacks. Unfortunately, a strong quarterback class doesn’t mean a deep one. Due to NIL opportunities convincing mid- to late-round passers to stay in school, this year’s quarterbacks crop is a bit top-heavy, so if you need to add a young arm to the roster, you may be forced to do so early.

It appears that seems to be the plan in New York. The team has hosted Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy and North Carolina’s Drake Maye, both favorites at one point to go No. 2 overall behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams. Although it would likely take a massive trade to acquire him, the Giants have done their homework on Williams, as well, sending general manager Joe Schoen to his pro day in Los Angeles.

Regardless of the work being put in by the team’s personnel group, the plan is for Jones to be under center in Week 1 of the 2024 season. Mara has been adamant recently in his belief in Jones, citing the quarterback’s 2022 season as an indicator of what the 26-year-old is capable of doing in an interview with Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. This won’t stop the team from adding to the room this offseason as Jones works his way back from a torn ACL.

Still, this past season is also an example of what we’ve seen with Jones in his career. Including the 2022 season, in which he sat out Week 18 before the playoffs, Jones has yet to play in every game of an NFL season. Ignoring the technicality of the 2022 absence, Jones has still missed 23 of a possible 83 regular season games through the first five years of his career. This season also saw the troubling return of Jones’ struggles with turnovers, though the team points to his injuries this season as the cause for that. You can have all the confidence in the world in Jones, but it’s still smart to consider investing in a young arm in case Jones continues to miss games or in case the Jones from 2022 never shows up again.

In addition to voicing his support for Jones, Mara also backed head coach Brian Daboll after a turbulent 2023 season. According to Connor Hughes of SNY, while he sometimes wishes Daboll would “tone it down,” Mara doesn’t believe that the coach acts irrationally and hasn’t asked him to change.

Latest On Giants’ QB Situation

After the Giants poked around at the likes of Russell Wilson and landed on Drew Lock, there was some speculation that the organization could be looking to manufacture a QB competition. Seahawks GM John Schneider only fueled that fire earlier this week, telling Seattle Sports 710AM that the Giants lured Lock away from Seattle by selling the QB on the “opportunity to compete to be the starter.”

[RELATED: Giants To Sign QB Drew Lock]

Lock was quick to dismiss that notion. After inking his one-year deal with the Giants yesterday, the QB told reporters that it’s clearly been conveyed to him that Daniel Jones is the starter.

“Now, I need to come in and push Daniel to be the best that he can be,’’ Lock said (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “I’ve had both sides of this. I’ve been the guy to push a starter, I’ve been the starter that’s being pushed by the backups. It’s about making that room the best it can be. If we can do that, the sky’s the limit for this team.’’

As Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes, it was likely Jones’ career-long injury issues and Brian Daboll‘s quarterback-friendly system that helped lure Lock to New York. Both Tyrod Taylor and Mitch Trubisky parlayed stints as Daboll’s QB2 into larger pay days, and Lock is surely hoping for the same outcome.

Lock could have an opportunity to start in 2024 as Jones continues to rehab a torn ACL that ended his 2023 season, but the new addition will simply be keeping the seat warm. That’s a big reason why the Giants didn’t end up adding Wilson to the mix; as Lowe reports, the Giants didn’t make the veteran QB “any promises about playing time.” The Giants also tried to retain Taylor, as Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com writes. Ultimately, Taylor was able to garner a higher offer from the Jets than what Lock settled for with the Giants.

While the Giants continue to give Jones a vote of confidence, that doesn’t mean the team is entirely comfortable with his future outlook. As Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports writes, Jones’ injury history has “shaken” the Giants’ faith in the franchise QB. The former first-round pick has only made it through one season unscathed, and that’s led the team to consider taking a quarterback in next month’s draft. Even after handing Jones a four-year, $160MM extension last offseason, the Giants have scouted many of the draft’s top quarterback prospects. If the organization does pull the trigger on a rookie signal-caller, that will only further cloud the team’s QB picture moving forward.

QB Rumors: Brady, 49ers, Purdy, Dalton, Eagles, Maye, Jones, Giants, Jackson, Ravens

Kyle Shanahan confirmed Brock Purdy‘s account that provided one final Tom Brady49ers connection. Shanahan alerted Purdy of his effort to lure Brady out of retirement during the younger QB’s rehab from UCL surgery. Brady passed, leading to the 49ers’ Sam Darnold signing.

I actually thought it was giving Brock the biggest compliment,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I let him know he’s our guy long term. No question. And if Tom Brady wanted to come here and start for one year, that’s the only way you’re not starting when you’re healthy this year. That’s pretty cool. I wanted to assure him, ‘Don’t worry. You’re our guy. But how cool would it be if Tom Brady would be the quarterback here for one season? How cool would it be for you to learn from him?

I mean, if Brock never got hurt, this wouldn’t have been a consideration at all. I’d never have brought it up. But I’ve got to think about the team. What if he’s not ready in September?

Brady’s re-retirement has stuck, with the 46-year-old legend not playing in 2023. The 49ers passed on making a serious pursuit of the Bay Area native in 2020, sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady was connected to the 49ers in 2022 as well, but when the Buccaneers would not trade his rights during retirement No. 1, he came back to Tampa. The seven-time Super Bowl winner is en route to becoming a Raiders minority owner and FOX’s No. 1 analyst. Purdy, who was back by training camp and showed last season his post-Garoppolo work as a rookie was no fluke, is signed through the 2025 season. The 49ers cannot give him an extension until after this year.

Here is the latest from the quarterback scene:

  • Drake Maye will join Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels in not throwing at the Combine, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson. Widely expected to be a top-five pick, Maye is only scheduled to meet with teams and go through physicals. A light Indianapolis schedule is mostly available only to surefire candidates to go off the board early, but such prospects are taking advantage of the limited participation option.
  • Not nearly on the level of the Brady-49ers what-if transaction, the Eagles made a strong pursuit for Andy Dalton during last year’s free agency, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan notes. A signing was close here, per Caplan, but Philadelphia pivoted to Marcus Mariota after Dalton chose Carolina’s two-year, $10MM ($8MM guaranteed) offer. The Eagles added Mariota on a one-year, $5MM deal. Barring a Mariota re-signing, Philly will need to add a new backup quarterback soon.
  • Daniel Jones‘ rehab continues to unfold smoothly. Giants GM Joe Schoen expects his starter to be ready for training camp and indicated the sixth-year veteran has begun throwing. Jones is not yet dropping back and throwing, but not yet four months after his ACL tear, the longtime New York starter is progressing toward his goal of a training camp return. Schoen reiterated (via Giants.com’s Michael Eisen) at the Combine that Jones will be the Giants’ starter if healthy. The Giants are still expected to add a quarterback, though one of this offseason’s central storylines is whether that passer will be a first-round pick or merely a veteran backup for Jones. The Giants can get out of Jones’ contract with a modest dead-money sum in 2025.
  • Lamar Jackson did not sign his Ravens extension until draft day last year, stalling his start in new OC Todd Monken‘s system. That did not exactly slow the dual-threat superstar, who won his second MVP award. But the Ravens are giving Jackson more autonomy into the offense’s design this year, per John Harbaugh. The 17th-year Baltimore HC said conversations with Jackson about new offensive dimensions began soon after the team’s AFC championship game loss.

Daniel Jones Progressing Post-Surgery; First-Round QB Pick On Radar

Of the teams lurking outside the top three who have been connected to a quarterback upgrade attempt, the Giants sit in the best spot. They hold the No. 6 overall pick, the same slot they were in when Daniel Jones became the Eli Manning heir apparent in 2019. Five years later, Jones’ status creates a complicated situation for the team.

Coming off a November ACL tear, Jones is progressing well during his rehab process. The five-year veteran expects to be ready to go by training camp, and GM Joe Schoen indicated (via the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard) he will be expected to return as the team’s starter should that happen by camp. Confirming a quarterback will be under consideration at No. 6 overall, Schoen remains connected to making his own investment at the position.

[RELATED: Giants Interested In First-Round QB Investment]

Although Schoen and Brian Daboll were in place when the Giants re-signed Jones on a four-year, $160MM deal, this regime did not draft him. Seeing Jones’ injury help drag the Giants down to the No. 6 draft slot, an opportunity may present itself to upgrade on the oft-criticized passer, who was not off to a good start before suffering the ACL tear. While Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline has the Giants taking LSU wideout Malik Nabers in his latest mock draft, he indicates the team would love a scenario in which one of the top quarterbacks fell to 6. The Giants should also be considered in play to trade up, Pauline adds, with NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo listing Big Blue as a team to monitor regarding a move up the board for a passer.

The Giants cannot realistically move off the Jones contract in 2024. They guaranteed their starter $81MM; that includes a $36MM guarantee for 2024. Jones is not going anywhere this year, but if the Giants are to come out of the first round with a passer, the Dave Gettleman-era draftee probably will not be part of the 2025 team. The Giants can escape this contract in 2025 by taking on only $11MM in dead money — in the event of a post-June 1 cut.

Schoen has said since shortly after Jones’ injury the team needs to address its QB spot. That could mean another veteran backup type, with UFA-to-be Tyrod Taylor expected to move on. Tommy DeVito remains under contract, but after being benched, the popular rookie is not a realistic candidate to become a long-term starter in New York. A number of veterans will be available as Jones insurance, if the Giants show enough faith in their starter — or the board does not align with a QB swing — to avoid acquiring a true replacement option this offseason. Whether Big Blue goes with a rookie that will be expected to supplant Jones or merely a backup option represents one of this offseason’s top storylines.

When connected to either taking a QB at 6 or moving up for one, the Giants would seemingly be tied to interest in Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. Maye’s stock has held fairly steady despite a less statistically impressive 2023 compared to his first starter season, while Daniels’ spiked during his Heisman year. It would be unlikely to see the Commanders consider giving the Giants the No. 2 pick. The Patriots (No. 3), Cardinals (4) and Chargers (5) represent avenues for the Giants to climb up the board.

Of course, other teams — including the Falcons, Vikings, Broncos and Raiders — will undoubtedly be eyeing that stretch as a trade-up window as well. The Raiders have been connected to Daniels already. With the 2025 QB class not generating much buzz — though, it is obviously early on that front — teams have been connected to trade-up efforts this year.

Jones has now suffered major injuries in two of the past three seasons. Neck trouble ended his 2021 season, leading to surgery, and sidelined him for a brief span last year before the ACL tear. Regarding the knee malady, Jones told Leonard he has progressed to running on a treadmill. But the injury risk the 26-year-old QB now presents will also factor into how aggressive the Giants are to acquire a replacement this year.

Jones’ goal of a camp return could be themed around the Manning successor retaking the Giants’ reins. After DeVito and Taylor combined to produce four wins following Jones’ injury, the Giants’ draft slot slid out of the top three. That naturally will make a Jones replacement effort harder to complete. But if the team selects a QB in Round 1, Jones’ rehab process suddenly looks like it would turn into an awkward audition for a starting job elsewhere come 2025. These disparate paths make the Giants one of this offseason’s most interesting teams.

Giants To Add QB; Team Eyeing First-Round Investment?

This Giants regime is suddenly in a difficult spot at quarterback. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll gave a starter they did not draft a $40MM-per-year extension that drew extensive criticism, and Daniel Jones subsequently suffered an ACL tear. Jones will spend the next several months rehabbing, creating uncertainty.

Following Jones’ knee injury, Schoen said the team would be in the market for a quarterback to at least round out the depth chart. While it is still not known if the Giants would legitimately consider adding competition for a player they worked to re-sign last year, they do have the No. 6 overall pick — Jones’ slot back in 2019. People close to the Giants have informed Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline the team will make its QB move this offseason.

Ultimately, we have to do something,” Schoen said this week. “Whether it’s the draft or a free agent, just because Tyrod [Taylor’s] contract is up. We have Tommy [DeVito], who’s under contract, and then Daniel’s injury — the return to play and the uncertainty there. When free agency starts, the draft. Whichever avenue we decide to take, we will address the position.”

Schoen hopes Jones can make it back by Week 1; the five-year veteran said recently he is aiming for a return by training camp. With training camp more than nine months from Jones’ early-November injury, that recovery timetable would be in range. Week 1 would be more realistic, but the bigger question for the Giants — who are tied to Jones due to guarantees through at least the 2024 season — is if they want to add a veteran backup type or make a push to draft a replacement. A report suggesting a true Jones replacement will be targeted emerged in the fall, though the Giants were then projected to hold a higher draft choice than No. 6.

Jones again faces questions about his long-term viability. Eli Manning‘s successor has run into multiple neck injuries and now the ACL tear, but he was not remotely viewed as a $40MM-AAV player when the Schoen-Daboll regime declined his fifth-year option. Jones is the first quarterback in the option era (2014-present) to see his option declined and then re-sign with that team. His $82MM guaranteed makes a 2024 cut untenable, but a 2025 release — especially if it is the post-June 1 variety — would cost the team only $11.1MM in dead money. Considering Dave Gettleman drafted Jones, this Giants offseason could become the point the Schoen-led regime makes plans to move on.

That would, of course, be a bit odd due to the $160MM contract to which Jones is attached. But the Duke product was not playing particularly well, albeit behind an injury-ravaged O-line, before his injury this season. Jones struggled from 2020-21 as well, though his 2022 ascent also came with the Giants fielding a bottom-tier pass-catching group. Variables exist here, and Jones will only be going into his age-27 season this year.

Pauline mocks Heisman-winning QB Jayden Daniels to New York at No. 6. Barring a trade-up maneuver, Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are almost definitely out of reach for Big Blue, and Daniels — given the QB supply-and-demand issue — may also require a trade-up come April. Field Yates’ ESPN.com big board places Daniels one spot in front of Maye, however, with no other QB in the top 25. The race for the second- and third-best 2024 arms could be fascinating, assuming the Bears take Williams first overall.

The Giants have a better in-house option, assuming Jones is recovered, than most of the other teams in the market for a passer. But if Daboll and Schoen become enamored with one of the prospects, it is certainly reasonable they will effectively put an expiration date on the Gettleman-era QB draftee.

Daniel Jones Targeting Training Camp Return

Daniel Jones provided an encouraging update on his knee injury. The Giants quarterback told reporters that he suffered only an ACL injury and didn’t have any other structural damage, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.

[RELATED: Giants Expect Daniel Jones To Start In 2024]

Two weeks removed from his knee surgery, Jones now has a clearer outlook on his rehab. The quarterback told reporters that he intends to “check all the boxes” along the way but is targeting training camp as his return date.

“I mean, it’s a long road. I think it depends, kind of how I do with each stage of it and, and how it progresses,” Jones said (h/t Yahoo’s Ben Krimmel). “I’m going to try to focus on what’s right in front of me during each stage and do as well as I can with each of those. It’s a long road ahead.”

Jones suffered the torn ACL in early November, meaning there would be around 10 months between his injury and the start of next season. There was hope that the quarterback would be on the field for the 2024 season opener, but it was uncertain how many reps he’d be able to get during training camp and the preseason. Jones’ ambitious target means he’d be able to get a full preseason with his squad.

Considering the player’s injury, uneven play, and hefty $40MM price tag, it was uncertain if the former sixth-overall pick would stick around New York. GM Joe Schoen acknowledged that the player’s uncertain status for the start of next season could require the front office to make a move at the position, but he also noted that Jones is expected to be the QB1 when he’s healthy enough to play.

Giants Expect Daniel Jones To Start In 2024; Team Planning To Add QB In Offseason

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.