Daniel Jones 'thrilled' to re-sign with Giants: 'It was always my goal to be back'

Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) passes the ball against the Washington Commanders during the first half at MetLife Stadium.
Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) passes the ball against the Washington Commanders during the first half at MetLife Stadium. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Giants fans let out a sigh of relief on Tuesday afternoon after the team and quarterback Daniel Jones reached an agreement on a four-year, $160 million contract extension just minutes before the 4 p.m. franchise tag deadline.

The negotiations went down to the wire after Jones switched representation and reports swirled about him asking for more than $45 million per season. The two sides did not give up, and continued to work out a long-term deal following discussions at the NFL Combine. Speaking to reporters via Zoom on Wednesday morning, Jones was asked if he ever thought a deal might not get done and said it was difficult at times, but his goal was always "to work it out."

"Yeah I think it's my first time going through it, there's certainly an emotional component to it as well and we went up to the deadline, as you know," Jones said. "I think there was probably some points where you had more confidence and some points at times when you had less confidence. It was always, I wanted to find a way to work it out and that was the goal, that was very much my mindset. I'm glad we did, I'm thrilled to be back."

Jones said he was in the building when the deal got done, as he recalls it being around 3:53 p.m. when he was notified by his agents and accepted the contract. The 25-year-old was asked what was more important to him in a new deal, the yearly salary or the length of the contract, but said the contract's balance was the key factor.

"Yeah I mean there's several key components to it and I think going in, it wasn't really one thing or the other, I think it was the overall deal and how it worked together and how they balanced each other out," Jones said. "So I don't think there was one thing that was overridingly more important than the other, I think it was about the balance of the deal and putting all those things together in the best way we could."

During the negotiation process after the season ended, Jones switched agents from CAA to Athlete's First and spoke about his involvement throughout the process and how his communication with the new representation went.

"I was certainly communicating with them a lot and talking to them, getting updates after their conversations with the Giants," Jones said. "I was keeping pretty close touch with all that. I thought they did a great job."

By signing a contract extension with the Giants and not getting the franchise tag, Jones allowed the team to use that tag on running back Saquon Barkley to keep him in New York at least one more season. If Jones and the Giants couldn't reach a deal, it was expected the team would given him the franchise tag and let Barkley hit free agency. The QB understood the team's situation and said it was important to "do it right for both sides," adding that Barkley's importance to the team played a role in his negotiations too.

"In a situation like this, you're trying to do what's best for you and your family, while also balancing being part of a team and understanding the goals and the vision that we have as a team and as an organization," Jones said. "That was certainly important to me throughout the deal. I think we found a way to do both of those things and do it right for both sides. Yeah that was certainly important to me.

"Saquon, I've said, he means a ton to me as a teammate, as a friend, and means a ton to us as a player. I certainly won't talk about his business, but that was a piece of it too."

Jones was then asked about the reaction around the NFL to his contract extension, with some saying that he needs to prove he's worth his contract, and if there's any added pressure after getting a new deal.

"I've always felt that responsibility," Jones said. "Playing this position, especially for a team like the New York Giants and this city, you have that responsibility and I take that very seriously. Certainly doesn't change. I certainly do feel that and it's my goal to earn that every day in the offseason while we're preparing for the season, and when we get to the season, doing my best and preparing this team to win games and me to put us in a position to do that. I take that responsibility very seriously."

Jones went on to say that he took some time emotionally to think about everything after the deal, and expressed his gratitude to everyone that's helped him reach this point in his career.

"Yeah I certainly did," Jones said. "Yeah just super grateful for the opportunity, grateful to the Mara family, to the Tisch family, and just to be a part of this organization has meant a ton to me. It's been an honor to represent the team. Just very grateful for that and grateful for all the people who've helped me get this opportunity along the way: my family, my friends, my teammates, coaches, everybody. Definitely took some time to think about that. Talked to a lot of people, haven't talked to everybody yet. Just very grateful."

He added: "I think that there's certainly an emotional component to it and you feel the pressure of the deadline. I think we all felt that and I did as well. I wanted to be here like I said, and I'm glad we got it worked out. It was always my goal to get it worked out, glad we did."

Jones said that he celebrated the new deal last night with friends, family and his agents. He even noted that he got some advice from Giants legend Eli Manning during the negotiation process, but mostly relied on his family and agents. At the end of the day, Jones made it clear that he always hoped to return to New York and didn't think much about not being Giant anymore.

"I think it was always my goal to be back here and to be here long term," Jones said. "I really enjoyed being here, I think it's a special place, it's a special organization to be a part of. It was always my goal and my hope that we'd find a way to work it out and that they would bring me back. I'm excited about that. I think you go through, like with the deal, you go through times you're more confident, times you're less confident. But it was always my goal and hope to be back."