Undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito has guided the Giants to two-straight victories, tossing four touchdowns vs. no interceptions in wins over the Commanders and Patriots. While the sudden breakout has shocked many, it probably wasn’t much of a surprise to the two teams he beat.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported last weekend that after DeVito went undrafted in this past year’s draft, he received an offer from Washington. In fact, that offer featured more guaranteed money than the contract that DeVito ultimately signed with the Giants. However, the rookie quarterback grew up in New Jersey and wanted to play for Brian Daboll, two factors that played major roles in him taking the lesser deal.
Then, when DeVito was cut by the Giants at the end of the preseason, the Patriots approached the rookie quarterback about joining their practice squad. Instead, DeVito stuck with the Giants’ taxi squad, and he earned a promotion to the active roster in October after backup Tyrod Taylor went down with an injury.
After entering Week 9 in place of the injured Daniel Jones, DeVito has started every game for the Giants. In total, the rookie has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 697 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions. He’s also added 83 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
November 27th, 2023 at 10:09pm CST by Sam Robinson
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 Williamsor 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.
In a situation that somehow looks worse than the 2021 setup that led to Joe Judge‘s firing, the Giants will enter the next three games without their top two quarterbacks available. Daniel Jones is out for the season, and Tyrod Taylor must miss at least three more games. The emergency setup will remain for Week 10.
Rather than move to Matt Barkley(and thus an all-Barkley backfield), the Giants will stick with rookie UDFA Tommy DeVito for their rematch against the Cowboys, Brian Daboll said Wednesday. The Giants have bumped Barkley to their 53-man roster, however, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Barkley, 33, has made seven career starts. Though, none have come since 2018. The well-traveled backup/third-stringer caught on with the Giants just last week. With DeVito having signed as a UDFA earlier this year, he has a head start on the veteran arm. That said, Barkley was with the Bills for nearly Daboll’s entire stay as OC. The Giants now have Jacob Eason on their practice squad as a de facto third-stringer. Jones suffered a torn ACL in Week 9, and Daboll said Taylor is not a lock to return from his rib injury this season. That leaves DeVito and Barkley helming a sinking ship.
Both Barkley and Eason are former draft choices who could factor into this bleak situation, but for now, DeVito will keep going. Although 1987 obviously featured more rookies in place as starters, as it featured scabs during a players’ strike, the Associated Press’ Josh Dubow notes DeVito’s start will set a non-strike-year record for rookie quarterbacks to start a game — with 10. The 2019 season involved nine rookie QBs making starts.
The Giants started Taylor against the Jets and Jones against the Raiders. Neither made it out of the first half. Daboll and OC Mike Kafka kept DeVito on a tight leash against the Jets; he completed 2 of 7 passes in that matchup. The staff gave the rookie more opportunities in Las Vegas; DeVito completed 15 of 20 passes against the Raiders, throwing his first touchdown pass. Barkley has not thrown a regular-season pass since 2020, though he has 363 career attempts — most of them coming during his Buffalo stint.
In 2021, the Giants passed on re-signing Colt McCoy in order to replace him with Mike Glennon. Although McCoy sought a second Giants contract and ended up helping the Cardinals end a playoff drought, Glennon became the staff’s pick. Following Jones’ neck injury, the Giants lost their final six games — all of which by double digits — and finished the season with Jake Fromm at the controls. This stretch led to Judge’s firing, which had not been expected around midseason. Daboll helped stabilize matters last season, but the Giants have followed up a divisional-round season with a 2-7 start during a slate in which the worst may be ahead.
The Giants will also be without right tackle Evan Neal for a bit, according to Daboll. The 2022 top-10 pick suffered a left ankle sprain, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Neal had previously battled a right ankle injury. Tyre Phillips, who spent the 2022 season in New York but wound up on Philadelphia’s practice squad this season, is likely set to replace Neal on the right side, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan notes. The Giants finally saw Andrew Thomas return against the Raiders, but their run of O-line misfortune will continue in Dallas.
Eason has been on the Giants’ radar for a while now, working out with them in minicamp back in June, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, and returning for a tryout today, as well, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Despite having been rostered by four other teams since being drafted in the fourth-round by Indianapolis four years ago, Eason has only appeared in games for the Colts and Panthers. In one game each for either team in the past two seasons, the 25-year-old has seen extremely limited time completing just 5 of 10 pass attempts for 84 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions in just 12 offensive snaps.
Eason likely isn’t coming in to save the day as a starter, or at least not right away. According to Pat Leonard of New York Daily News, head coach Brian Daboll told the media that, with Taylor not certain to return at any point this season, the current plan at quarterback is undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito as the starter, along with getting practice squad veteran backup passer Matt Barkley “up to speed.” Daboll also plans to communicate more with general manager Joe Schoen about possibilities at the position.
The sum of DeVito’s NFL experience has come in the past two weeks as he served replacement duty for both Taylor and Jones in consecutive games. After only completing two of seven pass attempts for -1 yards in his debut, DeVito showed more poise this weekend, going 15 of 20 for 175 yards, while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. Barkley hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2020 and hasn’t made a start since 2018. Over his career, Barkley holds a completion percentage of 58.4 and a touchdown-interception ratio of 11-22.
Neither option likely provides Giants fans with much hope for turning around their season. Nor does Eason, probably, for that matter. Regardless, in comes Eason to provide some depth and experience at the most important offensive position.
NOVEMBER 6: An MRI has confirmed the worst-case scenario. Daboll said on Monday that Jones has indeed torn his ACL, shutting him down for the rest of 2023. As Rapoport notes, Jones will soon undergo surgery with the expectation he will be available by the start of the 2024 campaign.
NOVEMBER 5: Making his return after missing the Giants’ last three games with a neck injury, quarterback Daniel Jones‘ comeback may be short-lived. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported that Jones “is feared to have suffered a significant knee injury, potentially a torn ACL based on initial tests.”
Four weeks ago, Jones suffered a neck injury that knocked him out for the remainder of that week’s contest. He told head coach Brian Daboll at the time that he would be okay, and he did manage to avoid a serious neck injury, but he missed the last six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury, and a new neck injury would’ve been more than enough cause for concern.
That’s not at all to say he was brought back too early or that his return this week was the cause of his newest injury. The injury occurred on a non-contact play as Jones rolled to his right within the pocket trying to avoid the pass rush of Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby. Jones planted his foot to stop his momentum and saw his knee buckle as a result, leading to his collapse and a sack. He tried to tough it out, remaining in the game for one more snap, in which he attempted to drop back before feeling his knee buckle once again and going down for another easy sack. Jones was soon after ruled out for the remainder of the game.
With Jones’ exit, undrafted Illinois rookie Tommy DeVito made his second NFL appearance. DeVito had filled in last week for an injured Taylor, completing only two of his seven pass attempts for -1 passing yards and taking two sacks. He did provide a contribution on the ground, totaling 12 yards and a touchdown on four carries. He fared a little better in today’s relief appearance, completing 15 of his 20 pass attempts for 175 yards while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. He saw lots of pressure, though, getting sacked six times by the Raiders defense.
This poses an issue for New York. If Jones is forced to miss significant time because of his knee injury and with Taylor out for at least three more games, the Giants are low on options at quarterback. Now post-trade deadline, the team will have to move forward with DeVito or practice squad veteran Matt Barkley, who has not appeared in an NFL game since 2020, or they will have to find an available free agent. Their last option would be to sign a quarterback off another team’s practice squad, straight to their active roster. There are a number of serviceable options there that could provide some competition in New York under center.
As for Jones, this has been an extremely disappointing season following the expectations that came with a four-year, $160MM extension. Six starts, in which the Giants went 1-5, averaging 151.5 passing yards per game and totaling three total touchdowns to seven total turnovers is hardly the return anyone wanted from $40MM per year. Now with his season potentially over, the Giants are faced with many questions for the remainder of the year, and perhaps beyond.
Jones will undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of his knee injury. If an ACL tear is confirmed, Jones’ season will be over. They will hope for a lesser severity, but even if his ACL is intact, a serious knee injury is still feared.
Kareem, who was just activated off of injured reserve, is being waived to make room for defensive end Montez Sweat, acquired by trade this morning. The Bears also announced a practice squad release, indicating a possible return for Kareem on that unit. The Colts are expected to do the same with Boettger.
O’Connor will lose his active roster spot to make room for quarterback John Wolford, whom Tampa Bay officially promoted today in order to ward off interest parties such as the Rams and Vikings, both of whom are experiencing injury issues at quarterback.
Wilkinson’s loss will be notable for the Cardinals, given his status as an entrenched starter at the left guard spot. The 28-year-old joined Arizona on a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum in free agency after stints in Denver, Chicago and Atlanta. Trystan Colon replaced him in the starting lineup in Week 7, and that will likely continue for the time being. Wilkinson will be out for at least four weeks as a result of the IR move.
Ridgeway has been out since Week 1, his Texans debut. The former 49er joined the Texans in a move which allowed him to continue working under head coach DeMeco Ryans. Ridgeway ended last season on IR, so he will be looking for an extended run of availability in his new home. A veteran of 78 games (and 19 starts), he will aim to carve out a rotational role up front.
Peters was brought in by the Seahawks while they were dealing with injury problems at both tackle spots. Blindside blocker Charles Crosshas since returned, so Peters’ most familiar spot will not be available if he is to make his Seattle debut on Sunday. The fact the latter is healthy and in game shape does mean, however, that he will be eligible to play in a 19th NFL season.
Dulcich already had one IR stint this season due to an aggravation of last year’s hamstring injury. The 2022 third-rounder has appeared in only two contests so far this season, and in the most recent one he suffered yet another setback. As a result, he will once again be shut down for at least four weeks.
The Giants’ decision to again promote DeVito points to starter Daniel Jonesmissing another game. Indeed, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Jones is considered a “longshot” to play tomorrow against the Commanders. It will in all likelihood be Tyrod Taylorunder center for New York in Week 7 while Jones continues to recover from his neck injury.
Dean took the starting role the Eagles had in store for him in Week 1, but a foot injury interrupted his second NFL campaign. The 22-year-old was poised to return ahead of Sunday’s game by returning to practice earlier this week, though, and a first-team role is expected to await him upon suiting up. Dean taking on a heavy workload will relegate Nicholas Morrow (who was promoted from the practice squad) to backup duty despite the latter’s strong performances so far.
Seattle has seen fellow corners Devon Witherspoonand Riq Woolenenjoy considerable success, but the team’s secondary will be shorthanded without Bryant. The latter will miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move as he recovers from a toe injury. The 2022 fourth-rounder, who has seen his defensive snap share jump from 65% to 77% this year, has not played since Week 2.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants moves are noted below.