Just weeks ahead of free agency, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones intends to switch agents.
With free agency on the horizon, the news came as a surprise, especially considering that Tuesday is the first day when teams can use the franchise tag on an impending free agent. But Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post has also reported the team’s contract negotiations with their franchise QB have been rocky thus far.
Jones had been represented by CAA when New York took him with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft. But now it’s being reported he’ll be joining Athletes First which is a full-service management firm that has been representing athletes since 2001.
After three subpar seasons marred by injuries and turnovers, New York declined to give Jones his fifth-year option last spring. Then, the 25-year-old quarterback went on to have his finest season as a pro as he set career highs in completion percentage (67.2%), quarterback rating (92.5), and rushing yards (708).
More importantly, he led the team to its first playoff berth since 2016 and their first playoff win since Super Bowl XLVI by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in the Wild Card Round.
Related: NFL insider shares likely cost of Saquon Barkley contract extension for New York Giants
Daniel Jones holds the leverage
With several teams in desperate need of a quality quarterback, all of the leverage appears to be with Jones as New York seems to have every intention of making sure he’s under center for Big Blue next season.
“We’re happy he’s going to be here. Hopefully, we can get something done with his representatives. And that would be the goal — to build a team around him where he can lead us and win a Super Bowl.”New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen in January
It was reported last week that Jones was seeking a contract that would pay him $35 million per season. But you have to question those reports based on Jones switching agents.
The Giants could apply the franchise tag to Jones if they’re unable to reach a new deal by March 7th, which would pay him $32.4 million for the 2023 season. But that would hinder their negotiations with running back Saquon Barkley, who is also a free agent.
Ideally, New York would like to agree on a multi-year deal with Jones and then have the franchise tag on the table for Barkley that would pay him just over $10 million next season if the two sides are unable to reach a deal.
How the contract situation goes with Jones and Athletes First will set the tone for what Big Blue will do this offseason. It’s certainly a negotiation that bears watching.
Related: 4 New York Giants QB options if Daniel Jones contract talks fail