The Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones agreed to a four-year contract extension with $82 million in guaranteed money, securing his role as the franchise’s starter after months of negotiations.
The sides agreed to terms shortly before Tuesday’s deadline for the Giants to place the franchise tag on Jones.
In 2022, the last year of his rookie deal, Jones improved under the first-year head coach Brian Daboll and helped lead the Giants to a 9-7-1 record and the franchise’s first playoff win since the 2011 season.
Jones posted career bests in passing yards (3,205) and completion percentage (67.2) and threw just five interceptions in the regular season. The team’s season ended with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the N.F.C. playoffs.
Jones’s emergence was among the highlights for a franchise that brought in new leadership. In January 2022, the Giants hired Joe Schoen as general manager and Daboll as coach from the Buffalo Bills. Schoen did not exercise the fifth-year option on Jones’s rookie contract, setting up the 2022 season as a “prove it” year for Jones, who had been dogged by injuries and turnovers since the team drafted him with the No. 6 overall pick in 2019.
Jones compiled a 12-25 record in his first three seasons, playing under three offensive coordinators and two head coaches.
In Daboll’s scheme, Jones made the most of short throws and designed runs to gain yardage and cut down on his turnovers. The Giants’ offense also got a lift from running back Saquon Barkley, who was healthy for much of the season after having dealt with major injuries in each of the previous three. Barkley added 10 touchdowns and 1,312 rushing yards, and the Giants were the league’s fourth-best running team in 2022.
After the Giants’ playoff loss, Jones and Schoen both said they wanted to complete a deal that would keep the quarterback with the team, but acknowledged there was distance between Jones’s asking price and what the team was willing to pay.
Jones switched his representation to Athletes First shortly after the Super Bowl, making the change from Creative Arts Agency in search of a more lucrative contract, according to a person with knowledge of the move. Last week at the N.F.L. scouting combine in Indianapolis, Schoen said he had not negotiated with C.A.A. before Jones’s switch.
“That was something personal that Daniel wanted to do,” Schoen said in a news conference last Tuesday. “They had no idea what value we thought. I had no idea what they would ask. That was totally separate.”
Jones would have earned $32.416 million in 2023 if the Giants placed the franchise tag on him. That sum would have counted directly against the team’s salary cap figure, severely limiting how active Schoen could be in free agency.
“That’s something everybody realizes,” Schoen said. “If you have to franchise Daniel, I don’t think that’s best for the organization. I don’t believe it’s best for Daniel especially as we try to build the team around him.”
After signing Jones, the Giants placed the franchise tag on Barkley, arguably the offense’s best player. Barkley will earn $10.09 million if he plays under the tag, but the Giants and Barkley can continue negotiations on an extension until July 17.
Schoen and Barkley’s agent, Kim Miale of Roc Nation Sports, had started early discussions on a long-term contract during the team’s bye week in November and have continued talks since the start of the off-season. At the combine, Schoen said he hoped to sign Barkley to an extension but said there was a gap in the asking price.
“We’ve got to draw a line in the sand like, ‘We’re not going any further,’” Schoen said. “And if it goes past this, ‘All right, let’s shift to Plan B.’ Hopefully we don’t get to that.”
Jones’s deal comes as teams continue to set the quarterback market. The Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday placed the franchise tag on Lamar Jackson after two years of deadlock in their talks about a long-term contract, and the New Orleans Saints on Monday signed Derek Carr to a four-year deal, with $100 million guaranteed.
The landscape will shift again as the star quarterbacks of the 2020 draft class — the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert — are expected to sign contract extensions.