American Football

Big Blue View mailbag: Daniel Jones edition


Let’s answers some Daniel Jones questions

Predictably, the Big Blue View Mailbag has received a ton of inquiries this week about New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Thus, a special ‘Daniel Jones edition’ of the mailbag on a special day.

Many of you asked similar questions. I have tried to select questions that cover somewhat different aspects of the Jones story. If you sent a Jones question and do not see it below, that is likely because I thought it duplicated a question I did select.

[NOTE: There will be an extra ‘non-Daniel Jones’ mailbag on Sunday.]

Jerry Lewis asks: Can a team trade a player after tagging him? I like Jones, but not if he’s going to eat up too large a percentage of the team’s payroll. What’s the point of signing him if the rest of the team would necessarily be lacking? If they could trade him after tagging him, what would you expect they could get back for him in draft picks?

Matt Smith asks: Is there any reality that if the Giants are inevitably so turned off by contract requests that they tag and trade Jones? Is that allowed? If so, with so many needs across the roster would they benefit from the cap room long term (by trading Jones), using the assumed draft capital to move up, select QB, and add more talent?

Ed says: Yes. The player has to sign the tag first. If he doesn’t sign the tag, then he is cannot be traded. Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders last season was a tag and trade.

In the case of Jones, I just don’t see it. If the Giants use the tag, they will likely do so simply to keep Jones off the market while they work out a deal.

In a perfect world, you have a quarterback on a rookie contract and you win big while that is the case. Of course, you have to have the right quarterback. It just doesn’t always work out that way.

Taj Siddiqi asks: All news and sports talk hosts seem to agree that DJ is looking for a $40 to $45 million figure. I was thinking how come he has nerves to make such demands after only one season of decent performance. Then I read the article from Warren Sharp of Fox Sports. With all numbers and statistics he thinks a hefty, hefty, hefty part of DJ’s success was the coaching, offensive schemes and play calling.

So what is your opinion why Giants even apply a tag on this guy and lose a chunk of salary cap? He will play on tag and next year we are facing same demands same BS. Why not use the money to shore up and build OL and DL with depth.

We have seen the importance of trenches with two Super Bowl contestants. Neither of the two mobile QBs could have made plays through out the game without adequate protection, could they?

This and next off seasons gather talents on all needed positions. This HC and OC are smart, experienced and capable of tailoring the offense to suit whoever they bring to be the QB. Why use tag at all even for Barkley. Play on our terms or walk.

I am turning anti DJ and Barkley — calm me down. Tell me why my no tag approach is crazy and nonsense?

Ed says: Taj, it’s the offseason and because you have nothing else to get all worked up about, you’re getting yourself tied in knots about this. Relax. Let it play out.

I keep saying this. The Giants and Jones reps are in a negotiation. Everyone is going berserk about the $45 million figure that was tossed out by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who got that from one source. Maybe it’s accurate. Maybe it’s not. You expect Jones’ reps to walk in the room with the Giants and say “whatever you are offering we will take”? Doesn’t work that way. Jones will shoot high. The team will offer something substantially lower. The two sides will work to find common ground. The Giants don’t want to let Jones get to the open market, and the tag would do that.

Quarterback is the most important position. Even $40 million, as audacious as it sounds, is only going to be middle of the pack for quarterbacks. There are a lot of guys — Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, maybe Derek Carr — who are going to get that much or more this offseason. It really isn’t outlandish in this market to pay a quarterback that if you believe in the guy.

The Giants don’t want to use the tag. That much has been clear from the various reporting that has been done. More than that, though, they don’t want Jones to hit the open market because they don’t want to lose him. They will use the tag to prevent that, if they have to. Even if they tag Jones, they will try to work out a multi-year deal.

As for Barkley, let’s see what happens. Again, Jones is the priority.

Bob Donnelly asks: In the scenario where the Giants use the non-exclusive tag on Jones what are the chances another team takes him? If that were to happen how should Schoen approach the roster construction given the ample cap space and draft capital he would have?

Charles Calabria asks: Should the Giants apply the non-exclusive franchise tag to Jones? The roster has so many holes and coming off one good season $35 million in average annual value seems like a lot. Wouldn’t it be wise to offer a good contract to jones that doesn’t put him in the top 10 paid QBs but somewhere in the 11-13. If another team signs him the organization gets two first rounders, plus the cap space to fill out the roster. Then leverage the resources to get a high value QB out of the draft.

Ed says: Guys, nobody is giving up two first-round picks to sign Daniel Jones. Let’s be realistic about that. It’s a pipe dream.

The reality is Jones is going to end up somewhere in the top 12 or quarterback in terms of average annual value once the offseason plays out. Or, he will end up playing on the franchise tag.

As I said to Taj, the Giants don’t want to use the tag. They won’t want that $32 million cap hit dragging down their ability to upgrade the roster. More than that, though, they don’t want to lose a quarterback they feel good about.

Peter S asks: Do you think the Giants should look into Derek Carr? For $40M, you want a proven QB. Also, do you think the Giants should see if there’s any interest in the Falcons, Panthers, Bucs, or Titans are willing to give up their No. 1 for Jones?

No matter how good the coaching is, the Giants will never win a Super Bowl with Jones.

Barry Block asks: Ed, we have some QBs already on the FA market, most notably Derek Carr. Unlike most of the other options, he’s an established starter with plenty of tread left on the tires.

My question is this, how will the contract Carr gets — and I’d be stunned if he’s still unsigned when the league year starts and the “real” FA period begins — affect the negotiations between the Giants and Daniel Jones?

It’s hard to see a close comparison. We know what Carr is, and at 32 this coming season, there’s not going to be a huge breakout. Jones turns 26, the arrow is pointing up. Carr has the experience, the multiple-season track record.

Obviously, the Raiders didn’t want to pay Carr $40 million for this season. But someone else might. Just as obviously, the impact on Jones’s case will be different if he does get $40 million from what it would be if he gets more like $35 million, or even less.

Lots of moving pieces to this. Have you heard anything? Your thoughts?

Ed says: No, the Giants should not pursue Carr instead of Jones. He’s six years older than Jones. He can’t do the things in the running game that Jones can do. Carr has four Pro Bowl appearances in nine season. Big whoop. He has a 63-79 record as a starting quarterback. That’s a .444 winning percentage. In nine years he has ZERO playoff victories. I cannot figure out why people think the Giants would be better off giving money to Carr instead of Jones.

I don’t think Carr’s contract has much to do with Jones. I keep saying it — even $40 million is mid-tier quarterback money these days.

Rob Martenis asks: If push comes to shove, and there’s an impasse in negotiations with Daniel Jones and his new representation, is there a chance of trading Daniel Jones and if so, what can one expect as an offer to the Giants for his services. And how would they fill the gap? Thank you for your time and consideration!

Ed says: Yes, Rob, I would always say there is a chance. I mean, as Ben mcAdoo used to say, never say never. Jones would have to sign the franchise tag first. I would think the Giants would want a first-round pick, plus ancillary picks. Problem is, how do you fill that gap? I don’t know. The Giants were very happy with the way Jones played in 2022. They think he can be even better.

Is there a guarantee that any of the quarterbacks in the draft will be better than Jones? No. They all come with significant question marks. John Mara’s not paying Lamar Jackson. My view is the Giants don’t get better paying Derek Carr or Jimmy Garappolo. And don’t even start with Aaron Rodgers.

Jones is the best option the Giants have currently without the risk of taking a significant step backwards.

James Stoll asks: My prediction is that if the Giants re-sign Daniel Jones to any amount, let alone $30M+, the team is doomed to failure for as long as he remains. Jones is, in my humble opinion, a very mediocre QB that performed “well”, so-called, under the guiding hand of Brian Daboll. At an average of 165 yards per game and < 1 TD per game, what are people seeing that I am not? And if they sign DJ at the “market” numbers being bandied about, does not Saquon become a cap casualty and then how “well” will Jones perform without the centerpiece of his offense? The team has so many myriad needs before we can truly compete. Why pay Jones now and inhibit filling those other needs? Other than lack of ability to see an alternative, what is the argument for paying for Jones when he has produced so little for so long?

Ed says: James, Jones did what Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka asked him to do. He did it very well. As the year went on they asked him to do more and more, and he met that challenge. Most people who evaluate talent for a living will tell you Jones was among the top 12 quarterbacks in the league in 2022. Whatever the statistics are, who cares? The Giants won games, made it to the second round of the playoffs, and the way the quarterback played had an awful lot to do with that. Your mind is made up, you are seeing what you want to see, and nothing is going to change that.

As for why pay Jones? Well, quarterback is the most important position. You have to have a good one. The Giants believe they do. Is Jones top five? No, of course not. Did he play well in 2022? Absolutely? Did he show against Minnesota in the Wild Card Round that he is capable of meeting the moment in big games? Absolutely.

Good quarterbacks don’t grow on trees. James, you obviously don’t think Jones is one. The Giants disagree. And, again, $35-40 million is middle tier quarterback money.

As for Barkley, I don’t want to see the Giants lose him. The Giants don’t want to lose him. The reality is, though, that quarterback is more important than running back.

One thing people are missing is that the franchise tag for Jones would drain the $32 million from the cap. A long-term deal would almost certainly come in at a lower cap hit, which would give the Giants the financial wiggle room everyone seems to be obsessing about.

Paul Miller asks: I admit to being stupid on contract stuff. Daniel Jones is going to get a big contract but is all of it guaranteed, how does bonus or large payment up front count against the cap and how does a void year work in all this? I apologize if you covered this before and if you could point me to a decent explanation I would appreciate it.

Ed says: Paul, all of that is part of what is being negotiated. NFL contracts are not fully guaranteed. DeShaun Watson got $230 million fully guaranteed from the Cleveland Browns, and everyone in the league went insane because that had not happened before. Patrick Mahomes got $63 million guaranteed on a deal that is, on paper, worth $450 million. Fully guaranteed deals have not been the way the league has done things. Lamar Jackson wants a fully guaranteed deal, and that is why he probably will end up being an ex-Baltimore Raven this offseason.

Jones won’t get a fully-guaranteed deal. Bonuses, in particular signing bonuses, get pro-rated over the life of the contract. Void years simply push some of the bonus money ahead into a year or years when the player actually won’t be with the team. They create “dead money” in the future, but lower cap hits in the present.

Gregg Schneider asks: I admit my first reaction to the news that Daniel Jones is asking $45 mill a year was he’s nuts. After thinking about it is slightly less than what Kyler Murray received and there is not that much of gap in their career numbers and Murry has had better players on his team. Should us Giants fans just accept that the current QB market means DJ will get 5 years between $43 or $44 mil with $160 or so guaranteed money? Also, with the escalating salaries on the position would that be a terrible thing in the long run.

Ed says: Gregg, I don’t think you just “accept” that. I think, though, that people have to accept that good players cost money. Quarterbacks cost the most money of all. As for the $45 million figure, I will again say we don’t know if that is accurate. It came from one source, and has been refuted by other media members I trust to be more connected to the Jones negotiations than Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who reported that $45 million number.

Something else about signing Jones that I haven’t talked about. I am, quite honestly, more focused on the length of the contract than the dollar figure. In my view, that is more important. I understand that if you give Jones a five-year deal you have a five to six-year runway (because of the potential to add a void year) to spread out the signing bonus.

The issue with that is that, because of guaranteed money, the Giants would be tying themselves to Jones for three or four years.

That is great — if his play justifies the contract. What if it doesn’t? What if, say, the Giants are done with Jones after the 2024 season? What if they think they have maxed out their potential with him and want to move on? If you sign him to a five-year deal you might not be able to do that.

I would still like to see a three-year deal. The way contracts and guarantees work, a deal of that length could likely be structured to that after two years the Giants might only be on the hook cap-wise for a pro-rated portion of the signing bonus. Thus, they would be able to move on without taking a massive dead money cap hit.

BBV mailbag

Have a Giants-related question? E-mail it to [email protected] and it might be featured in our weekly mailbag.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login