Wearing a loose-fitting grey sweatshirt, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was otherwise all business on Wednesday, one day after agreeing to terms on a four-year, $160 million contract.
The agreement — which includes $82 million guaranteed at signing and $35 million in incentives — came just minutes before the 4 p.m. ET deadline for teams to use their franchise tag.
Jones was in the Giants’ facility when he found out the deal was done at roughly 3:53 p.m. ET. His agents told him the details, and he promptly accepted the contract.
A gaudy deal notwithstanding, Jones said he doesn’t feel any additional pressure to play like a franchise quarterback. Jones woke up Wednesday with the same annual salary, $40 million, as Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“I’ve always felt that responsibility. … I take that responsibility very seriously,” he said.
As well he should, considering Giants general manager Joe Schoen was asked if his team can win a Super Bowl with Jones under center.
“Yeah, yeah. Everyone’s goal is to win a Super Bowl,” Schoen said.
If the Giants didn’t reach agreement with Jones on a long-term contract, he would have been tagged. Instead, the Giants used the non-exclusive franchise tag on running back Saquon Barkley.
“It’s my first time going through (the negotiation process),” Jones said. “There’s certainly a lot of you know (and) there’s an emotional component to it, you know, as well. And you know we went up to the deadline as you know.”
Jones, 25, had a breakout season in 2022, playing a career-high 16 games. He didn’t miss any games because of injury for the first time in his four seasons. He sat out Week 18 to rest for the postseason.
Jones completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns against five interceptions in 2022. He also rushed for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s thrown for 11,603 yards and 60 TDs against 34 interceptions for his career. He’s 21-31-1 as the Giants’ starter since being selected No. 6 overall in the 2019 draft.
The Giants undoubtedly will aim to build a cohesive coach-quarterback tandem they haven’t seen since the long relationship between Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin ended after the 2015 season. Jones played under his third coach, Brian Daboll, in four seasons in 2022 and led New York to a 9-7-1 record and the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
Last April, the Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option worth $22.38 million for 2023.
Having Barkley return to the backfield under the $10.09 million franchise tag price only can help Daboll and Jones, although Barkley had hoped to strike a long-term deal. Negotiations took place last season and again in January, but weren’t fruitful.
“(Barkley) means a ton to me as a teammate and as a friend and he means a ton to us as a player,” Jones said.
Barkley congratulated Jones via Twitter on Tuesday. Schoen said Wednesday negotiations with Barkley will continue with the goal of reaching a long-term agreement palatable to either side.
“We love Saquon. He’s a good teammate, he’s a captain, he’s a hell of a player,” Schoen said.
–Field Level Media