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Daniel Jones contract decision puts New York Giants in precarious position

Just ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft, it was reported that the New York Giants had decided against picking up the fifth-year option on Daniel Jones contract.

It’s not that this decision by new general manager Joe Schoen threw people off guard. Said option was valued at roughly $22.38 million for the 2023 season.

The No. 6 pick of the Giants back in 2019, Jones simply has not lived up to expectations throughout his first three NFL seasons. Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll have no built-in relationship with the former Duke standout. That’s also an important backdrop to all of this.

However, said decision does leave a ton of question marks under center for a Giants team that boasts two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Related: Daniel Jones and 2023 NFL free agents

New York Giants were right not to pick up Daniel Jones contract option

Nov 22, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not going to blast New York’s newly-minted brass for this decision. It beats the heck out of the situations the Carolina Panthers (Sam Darnold) and Cleveland Browns (Baker Mayfield) find themselves in after picking up their respective quarterback’s fifth-year options.

Carolina has been bandied about as a potential landing spot for either Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo. It is also set to pay Darnold a whopping $18.86 million against the cap in 2023. Mayfield’s cost to the Browns also comes in at the same figure after they acquired Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans — only to pay him the richest guaranteed contract in NFL history.

  • Daniel Jones contract: 4 years, $25.66 million; free agent in 2023

If the Giants had picked up Jones’ option, his rookie deal would’ve been north of $48 million over five seasons. His cap hit in 2023 would’ve been almost as much as the first four seasons of his rookie deal. It made no sense to pick up said option.

Related: 7 round New York Giants mock draft

Daniel Jones situation creates more issues for the Giants

We’re going to assume that New York doesn’t use either of its two top-10 picks on a quarterback. That wouldn’t make any sense. Rather, there’s a good chance that the Giants see how the draft board falls heading into Round 2 and potentially jump at the idea of finding potential competition for Jones moving forward.

The likes of Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Matt Corral (Mississippi), Sam Howell (North Carolina) and Carson Strong (Nevada) could be options.

This scenario would include New York starting Jones in 2022 with the hopes that he’s able to rebound after three disastrous seasons to open his career.

If Jones exceeds expectations, the Giants could then potentially place the franchise tag on him in 2023. Said move would cost more than Daniel Jones contract option. But it wouldn’t be as much of a risk as picking up said option.

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