Giants' Joe Schoen on Daniel Jones contract negotiations: 'We’ve been in constant contact with his agents'

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

One of the biggest decisions the Giants are faced with this offseason is how to deal with Daniel Jones. General manager Joe Schoen and the team want him back, but how much are they willing to spend on the 25-year-old?

It’s a tough question considering the many other glaring holes on the roster that need attention — not to mention Saquon Barkley’s contract talks looming over Big Blue’s head as well — but one that needs to be answered sooner rather than later.

“We’ve been in constant contact with his agents,” Schoen, who was at the NFL Combine, said about Jones. “We had productive conversations yesterday, we have some more scheduled today so we’ll continue to communicate with them… We’ll continue to hammer it out, try to get closer to getting something done, hopefully.”

Jones had his best season last year, leading New York to its first playoff appearance since 2016. He finished the regular season with a career-high in completion percentage (67.2 percent) and passing yards (3,205) and threw 15 touchdowns, despite a revolving door of wide receivers.

He even excelled in the running game, rushing for a career-high 708 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Jones also cut down on the number of turnovers, a number that has been getting better every year since his rookie season. In 16 games, Jones threw just five interceptions and fumbled the ball six times, a far cry from the 31 turnovers he had in his rookie year.

“Daniel did have a good year and he’ll be the first to tell you that there’s still a lot of meat left on the bone and room for improvement and (Brian Daboll) will tell you that, the coaching staff will tell you that,” Schoen said. “He came a long way, he’s still 25 and I still think there’s room for improvement as he continues to mature and be around the staff.”

Schoen added: “I think continuity, Year 2, familiarity with the system, we’ll be that much further ahead as we go into the offseason program and I think everybody will benefit from that, especially Daniel.”

It all sounds like a perfect match for the two sides, so what’s the hold up? Money, mainly.

With the Giants also in negotiations with Barkley, who had a huge bounce back season last year, the front office is doing its best to juggle two top free agents the team would very much like to retain.

“I would say cautiously optimistic,” Schoen said about reaching deals with both Jones and Barkley. “Again, you have to go through hard times before you come out the other end in better times with negotiations so we’re trying to work through it. Obviously we’d like to have them both back, they know how we feel about both of them and we’re still working through it.”

A possible solution to not signing both players this offseason would be to franchise tag one of them and dealing with it next offseason. Or, if things get too messy altogether, signing just one.

“If it gets out of hand and it’s out of our comfort zone, we have the tag,” Schoen said. “If we want to tag one player we’ll use that. If somebody’s got to walk then it’s unfortunate but that’s a part of the business and we’re still building a team and that’s important to keep in mind.”

However, Schoen also said he’s reluctant to use the franchise tag on either player because getting both deals done is better for the organization and better for the players, too.

There’s also the point of how much it would cost. For a quarterback, the tag would cost the Giants $32 million and a running back tag would run them $10 million.

“If you have to franchise Daniel I don’t think that’s best for the organization and I don’t believe that’s best for Daniel, especially as we try to build the team around him,” Schoen said. “…It does hurt you a little bit in terms of the team-building process, but we’re prepared if that’s a scenario that we’re faced with and we have a Plan B and we’ll try to execute that as best we can.”