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Carl Banks: Giants QB Daniel Jones ‘has to play better’ in 2024

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones regressed in 2023 before suffering a serious neck injury and, eventually, a season-ending ACL tear.

The step back came after Jones signed a four-year, $160 million contract that was widely panned by fans and NFL media alike. It has thrust the Giants into a precarious position as they hold the No. 6 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Despite all of that, general manager Joe Schoen remains committed to Jones as the team’s starter — when healthy. The team is hopeful he returns in time for training camp but there is a very real possibility that Jones misses games next season.

Whenever he does return, the leash will be short. Jones will have to play better from the jump, says retired Giants great Carl Banks.

“I am, for transparency, a big Daniel Jones fan. But I will be the first to say that he took a step back this past year,” Banks told Mail Sport.

“But I’ll also add context to that and say, I can understand why. His offensive line was awful. He took so many hits early. And people don’t want to understand that quarterbacks under duress — and I would challenge any individual who just continues to criticize the effectiveness of a quarterback who continues to get hit, I would challenge you to stand anywhere and get hit by a 2×4, about five times in a row and see if you can make great decisions.”

The Giants’ offensive line surrendered 85 sacks this past season, the second-most in NFL history. And all three of the team’s quarterbacks — Jones, Tyrod Taylor, and Tommy DeVito — suffered injuries as a result of the porous line. It was undeniably a factor in the poor quarterback play.

“It does impair your decision-making because I was one of those guys who was doing that to quarterbacks, so I know how it impacts them,” Banks said. “But he has to play better when he gets healthy. He will have to resume where he was starting to ascend to, and if he doesn’t, they’re gonna move on.”

That’s the nature of business in the NFL. Whether Jones is at fault or not, it’s a what have you done for me lately league. And with a potential out in his contract following the 2024 season, DJ had better find a way to make it work or his time in East Rutherford, as Banks suggests, will be up.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire