This time last year, the New York Giants were coming off a season where the franchise recorded their first playoff win in over a decade in general manager Joe Schoen’s and head coach Brian Daboll’s first season in their respective positions.

Quarterback Daniel Jones parlayed the best season of his career into a four-year $160 million contract that he would sign in March.

Nobody thought that a year later the Giants might be looking to move on from Jones a year into his contract.

How did we get here?

After playing the best football of his career, Jones played the worst football of his career in 2023. 

Jones only threw five interceptions in 2022, holding the lowest interception total in the NFL. In 2023 in just six games, Jones threw six. 

In week five Jones left the game with a neck injury after taking a vicious blind-side hit against the Dolphins. In his first start since the neck injury in week nine against the Raiders, Jones tore his ACL, putting an end to his forgettable season. 

In addition to the injuries for Jones,  he looked like he regressed in year two of Daboll’s offense. This was supposed to be the year where Jones built on what he did in 2022 and continued to grow. 

Schoen tried to put Jones in the best position to succeed, acquiring tight end Darren Waller and drafting speedster Jalin Hyatt in the third round out of Tennessee along with signing wide receiver Parris Campbell from the Indianapolis Colts. The Giants and Jones were supposed to make the leap into the NFL’s good teams and make a deeper run in the postseason. 

It failed miserably.

Jones was the most sacked quarterback by far in the first five weeks of the season before he got hurt and was playing scared. Running out of clean pockets and making bad decisions with the football that he didn’t make in 2022. 

Before the 2022 season began, one of the first things Schoen did as general manager was decline Jones’ fifth-year option because he had not proven himself to be a capable, durable starting quarterback. 

A lot of people thought Schoen was going to ride it out with Jones for the 2022 season and then draft his QB in 2023. No one could have imagined the season Jones would go on to have. 

Schoen admitted in his 2023-2024 post-season press conference that he ‘expedited’ the process of rebuilding after giving Jones that big-money contract. A stark contrast from a lot of his other press conferences prior where Schoen preached being patient in a rebuild. 

What is most concerning about Jones is his injury history. Nobody doubts Jones’ toughness, but he has now suffered two different neck injuries in three years while suffering a torn ACL. 

Jones has only played one full season in his five-year career. 

At the Senior Bowl this week Schoen left the door open to the possibility of drafting a quarterback, “Again, the expectation is for him to be the starter when he’s healthy going into camp. We’re going to be thorough with our process at every position during the draft regardless of whether it’s QB, RB, safety, CB. Whatever it is, we’re going to be thorough at every position, and we’ll take a good player at No. 6.”

That is not exactly a ringing endorsement. A ringing endorsement sounds like what Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said about Kyler Murray, “There is no doubt, No. 1 is our franchise quarterback.”

Forget about Jones for a second. Why did the Giants hire Daboll as their head coach in the first place? Because of Daboll’s ability to develop quarterbacks. Daboll played an instrumental role in developing Josh Allen into a perennial MVP candidate.

Daboll was able to get the best out of Jones in 2022. Daboll helped play a big role in getting undrafted rookie free agent Tommy DeVito to play at a high-level, including beating a Green Bay Packers team that nearly went to the NFC Championship game. 

The Giants finished the season 4-3 despite playing DeVito and fellow backup Tyrod Taylor during that stretch, another example of Daboll getting the most out of his quarterbacks. 

While both DeVito and Taylor had much better offensive line play than Jones had, it was shocking to see how it felt like at times both DeVito and Taylor were operating the offense more efficiently than Jones was.

It is never good to see your backups outplaying your $160 million quarterback.

It is clear watching a lot of the elite quarterbacks play around the rest of the NFL that Jones’s ceiling may be a top-15 quarterback who relies a lot on his legs, yet he will enter next season having spent his entire offseason rehabbing a torn ACL.  

I don’t think the Giants can win a Super Bowl with Jones at the helm. The quarterback’s play in the playoffs only reaffirms my belief. With the exceptional throws into tight windows, avoiding sacks, and making all the right decisions, it feels more and more that Jones cannot consistently do that.

I think Joe Schoen thinks the same as I do. 

There have been numerous reports that despite Jones’s contract, the Giants are interested in the top quarterbacks of this year’s draft class. 

After seeing the work Daboll did with DeVito, you can only imagine how a Giants offense would look with a quarterback who possesses the physical tools that Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels have.

At the end of the season, the Giants offense opened up with Taylor because he was able to throw the deep ball. Taylor hit Darius Slayton for a 69-yard touchdown against the Eagles on Christmas and hit Slayton again for an 80-yard touchdown against the Rams in the following week. 

It would be a disservice to the Giants franchise to not give Daboll a chance to develop a rookie quarterback like he did with Allen in Buffalo. 

Schoen also understands that if he does not figure out the quarterback position soon, he may be out of a job. The NFL stands for Not For Long, and Schoen knows that as well as anybody.

It would not surprise me at all if Schoen took a big swing and traded up into the top three of the draft to get his guy. Just like when Schoen was assistant general manager in Buffalo when they traded up to draft Allen in 2018. 

I think Schoen must take the big swing. After Wink Martindale’s drama-filled departure, and the report from the New York Daily News about how tough Daboll is on his coaches, it is evident Daboll’s seat is getting hotter. 

The goodwill from the playoff win over the Vikings bought Daboll a third year, but after a rocky second year, there is no guarantee that Daboll will get a fourth season. 

There is no guarantee that if Schoen trades up that the quarterback the Giants select will be good. But the potential to find the franchise quarterback makes trading up worth it.

Because Daniel Jones is not a franchise quarterback, and if the Giants don’t find one soon Schoen and Daboll will be out of their jobs. 

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