There are few players with more pressure on them heading into the 2022 season than New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
The Giants seem to already have a succession plan in place after signing Tyrod Taylor to a two-year contract last month, and there is speculation that they’ll look to draft a quarterback in 2023 or look to sign or trade for a veteran starting quarterback that’s in his prime.
Although it hasn’t been made official yet, one of the worst kept secrets in the NFL is that New York will not exercise Jones fifth-year option later this spring.
With the regime that drafted him gone, and based on Jones injuries and inconsistent play, it’s doubtful that will see Jones in a Giants uniform beyond this coming season.
If the fourth-year quarterback is going to have any hope of being with the Giants for a fifth season, here’s what he must do this season.
Daniel Jones must play a full 17-game schedule
As the saying goes, a player’s best asset is his availability. Since Jones became the starting quarterback in Week 3 of the 2019 season, injuries have forced him to miss 10 starts.
In his rookie season he missed two games due to a sprained ankle, in 2020 he missed 2 games due to a hamstring injury, and last season he missed the final six games due to a neck injury.
Jones will turn 25 next month and for a player to be injured this often is alarming.
The Giants haven’t voiced any concern that they’ll be any lingering effects with his neck injury, and the offensive line will be better based on the additions general manager Joe Schoen made this offseason.
Now it’s up to Jones to show that he can finally play a full NFL season. If he can’t, his time with Big Blue will be over.
Daniel Jones must cut down on his turnovers
After throwing 24 touchdowns against 12 interceptions in his rookie season, Jones touchdown to interception ratio has plummeted. In the two seasons that followed, he’s thrown 21 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions.
In addition to his interceptions, Jones has fumbled 36 times and lost 20 of them. Simply put, he’s been a turnover machine, and his 50 total touchdowns to 49 total turnovers is an embarrassing statistic. When your quarterback turns the ball over this frequently, it’s impossible for your team to have any success.
Jones will have to mirror his touchdown to interception ratio he had as a rookie and make his fumbling issues a thing of the past or else he may not even finish this season as the starter.
Pull off some upsets
I know Giants fans don’t want to hear this, but 2022 will likely be another long season for New York. Former general manager Dave Gettleman’s poor decisions left the franchise with the least amount of cap space. This forced current GM Joe Schoen to cut valuable players such as Logan Ryan, while being unable to sign top-tier free agents.
Quarterback is the most important position in sports, and if a team has a franchise quarterback, they have to be able to pull off a few upsets. This will be an important task for Daniel Jones this coming season. If he can lead New York to a few upsets, Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll might have to consider bringing Jones back.
It will bode well for Jones if he can pull off victories at Philadelphia and at Dallas this season, which are places the Giants haven’t won since 2013 and 2016.