Ever since Deshaun Watson got his massive payday from the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback market became oversaturated with contracts far too big for the quarterbacks cashing these checks. And now, Daniel Jones -- who has an overall record of 23-31-1 -- is being paid an average of $40 million per year.
After Jones' first winning season last year, the New York Giants rewarded him with a four-year contract worth up to $160 million, with up to $35 million in incentives. Of that $160 million, $82 million is guaranteed. For context, Jones makes the same per season as the Cowboys' Dak Prescott and the Rams' Matthew Stafford. Jones makes only $5 million less per season than the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.
If that sentence above didn't make you audibly gasp, reread it. That's Jones' contract. That's crazy.
David Jones Secures the Big Apple Bag
The Giants will look back on this decision and wonder what they were thinking. While Jones played his best football under rookie head coach Brian Daboll -- the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year -- is that enough to give him a contract worth $160 million? That's hard to believe.
In fairness to Jones, he did exactly what a player going into a contract year should've done. He played the best he's played in his career, and he made the Giants consider whether they wanted to keep him or go a different way. Clearly, the Giants didn't want to risk having a quarterback with a floor lower than Jones, but this seems like a massive overpay for a quarterback who hasn't shown himself to be a playmaker.
Having thrown for 15 touchdowns while only throwing five interceptions, he makes a case for having not turned the ball over nearly as much as he had his first three years. In Jones' rookie year, he had 12 interceptions. In his sophomore season, he had only 10 interceptions. His third season, that number went down into the single digits, with only seven. Last season, Jones put up his best season for turnovers, throwing five only interceptions. Each season, Jones has thrown two fewer interceptions than the year before. So, if that's the trend, Jones will be trowing no interceptions in no time.
While Jones isn't the NFL's best passer, his ability to use his legs is something that Daboll seemed to get out of him. Whether that part of his game is worth the majority of a $160 million deal is to be debated. But for a quarterback who threw for 15 touchdowns and five interceptions -- while also putting up 708 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns -- maybe he made a point that his potential has been unlocked and upgraded.
That said, there's reason to believe running back Saquon Barkley and his resurgent season helped Jones, too. When Barkley was on the field, most eyes were on him.
The Giants May Have Overpaid for Their Signal-Caller
The Giants weren't necessarily a team loaded with weapons that coaches had to prepare for.
There's Barkley and Jones. Those were the two main contributors on offense. So, hypothetically, the Giants could've thought they might as well keep the above-average quarterback instead of taking a gamble on a quarterback who could end up worse than Jones.
Overall, it was still an overpay. That point isn't being diminished. However, desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. The Giants think they're in a window where they could win soon. And if that's the case, they might as well keep the quarterback who's making mistakes less frequently by the year.
But it's an overpay nonetheless.
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